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Never Forgotten, Frome Remembers

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Frome once again turned out in force to observe Remembrance Sunday with over 1,500 attending the Parade and Act of Remembrance at the Memorial Theatre garden on 10th November.  

Representatives from local groups and organisations and past and present servicemen and women laid wreaths at the memorial while the two minutes’ silence was held to remember those who have died or been injured in the world wars and other conflicts.

Jane Norris, chairman of the Frome Branch RBL and coordinator of the event for the past 11 years, paid tribute to the Frome community for their support of the event.“As always the town turned out in force,” she said. 

Jane broke with precedent this year when, as the Parade formed, she paid tribute to two WW2 veterans, Ron Stone, 100 years old on 6th November and Ivor Pickford, who turned 97 years old on the 9th November.  

“Ron had fought in Burma as a Royal Marine Commando, and Ivor in Normandy soon after the D-Day landings with the Wiltshire Regiment,” said Jane. “Both men had witnessed unspeakable events, and lost many comrades.  In a firm voice, Ron Stone broke the two minutes’ silence by reading the Kohima Epitaph.

“Proudly wearing their medals, Ivor Pickford with his Legion d’Honneur, awarded in 2015 by the French Government to all who had helped liberate the country, the veterans laid wreaths and were then followed by the Mayor and representatives of service and civilian organisations and youth groups.

“This year we particularly commemorate 80 years since the outbreak of World War II and the 75th anniversaries of the great battles of 1944 including D-Day and the Normandy Landings. Also remembered is the 100 year anniversary of GCHQ and the role of the secret services whose courage and work is so often unknown.  It is also the centenary of the formation of the Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Society, now called Combat Stress while 100 years ago this year, the two minute silence was observed for the first time.

“But when the two minutes’ silence fell at the eleventh hour, all had their own personal thoughts on this chill but dry autumnal day.

“The hymn, accompanied for the first time by the Frome Town Band, and the Gallic Blessing “Deep Peace” enabled the public to be at the heart of the service, which included the laying of an Animals-Remembered blue poppy wreath, which stood out amongst the red poppies.”

Jane acknowledged many with gratitude, including the Memorial Theatre for creating such a poignant memorial; Hilary Daniel for once again leading the service, and Rev Colin Alsbury who led reflective passages and prayers. 

“The Frome RBL is committed to Remembrance and comradeship, and takes seriously its connections to the Frome ACF, Writhlington CCF and Parade Marshall 2 Lt Barry Eggleton; to the Frome Learning Partnership choir who once again ensured the younger generation have an active part in Remembrance, and to Pete Dayman-Johns for his excellent sound production,” added Jane.

“Finally, The RBL thanks Frome Carnival committee for stewarding and Frome Town Council for supporting the printing of the service sheet. Never Forgotten: Frome Remembered.”

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