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Frome Remembers

The remembrance procession.

The remembrance procession.

HUNDREDS of people turned out to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday, 9th November, for the annual parade and service in Frome. 

Jane Norris, chairman of the Frome Branch of the Royal British Legion, thanks the people of Frome for their support of both Remembrance Sunday and the annual Poppy Appeal.

Jane said, “The Royal British Legion service is followed across the nation, led by Her Majesty the Queen at Whitehall.  Frome did likewise, but this year the service had a particular resonance, it being the first since the war memorial had the statue of Charlie Robbins, Frome man and WW1 soldier, looking down from his lofty position, representing perhaps, in his isolated position the sacrifice of war.

“One hundred years may have passed since the outbreak of WW1, ‘the war to end all wars’, but war has continued.

“Marking seventy years since the Normandy landings on 6th June 1944, two known veterans in Frome, Ivor Pickford and Denis Edwards, laid a wreath to their fallen comrades in the name of the Normandy Veterans’ Association.

“Many past, and some currently serving service men and women were present at the parade, proudly wearing medals of more recent conflicts; Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Several had peace-keeping campaign medals.

“For the children who came forward with their poppies, for the families with their personal wreaths, and for the official organisations who represent so many groups in Frome, the service held its own poignancy.

“I was overwhelmed by the emotion this year. All are equal in war and peace, and it is for that reason that we don’t single out individuals or events.  We do however encourage anyone to be involved, and as the crowds grow year on year, I hope we are enabling this to happen.”

Maggy Daniell from Frome Poppy Appeal said, “It was felt by all the volunteers to be a very positive experience, and they all commented on the public’s generosity.  We haven’t yet finished the count, but it is looking as though we will match or exceed last year’s final figure of just over £23,000.  It is good to see that the youngest generation is getting involved, and most of the schools have promoted Remembrance in this centenary year.”

Armistice Day itself (Tuesday 11th November) was also marked with commemorations at the Memorial Theatre, at the Frome War Memorial. The Frome branch of the Royal Naval Association was joined by members of the Memorial Theatre board of trustees and the general public.

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the end of hostilities in 1918, the traditional two minutes’ silence was held, with the lowering of the Union flag and the dipping of the Royal Naval Association Standard.