Remembrance Sunday in York


The University of York lays wreath at Remembrance service

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Image by Chris Stapleton

By Chris Stapleton

As the clock struck 11:00am this Sunday, York witnessed its annual remembrance service. The parade began at 10:00am, as a series of serving military regiments, band members, Scout groups, and other local organisations ventured through the mist from the Guildhall to the Memorial Gardens for 11:00am. The parade was led by the Lord Mayor and Civic Party, wreaths in hand.

At 10:58am ‘Ode to the Fallen’ was played, followed by the ‘Last Post’. Both performances were brought to life by the Railway Institute Band and accompanied by silence out of respect for the fallen soldiers. Following this was a gun salute at 11:00am provided by the military.

Within the gardens themselves, veterans from various generations and families of the fallen paid their respects. Likewise, the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of York, Councillor David Carr, the Civic Party and the City of York Council also stood within the gates, paying their respects.

One of the speeches given portrayed a touching recount of Queen Elizabeth II’s involvement in the military, enlisting into the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the female branch of the British Army during WWII, after turning 18 as a junior lieutenant, finishing her time as a senior controller. The Queen’s lifetime of service was seen as an inspiration to us all, appreciated across the nation this Remembrance Day.

Following this speech was a series of prayers focusing on remembrance and perseverance, encouraging those listening to ‘Commit Ourselves to Work in Penitence and Faith’. This prayer was then followed by a rendition of ‘Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer’, as well as a second prayer calling ‘For The Wounded And Captured And Homeless’ in Ukraine where, ‘For All Who Live There War Remains A Cruel Reality’.

The ceremony then closed with the Lord's Prayer, as well as a rendition of the national anthem. As the service finished the Memorial Gardens opened once more, displaying a series of wreaths laid out by various families and local organisations. Vice Chancellor of the University of York, Charlie Jeffrey, laid down two wreaths–one from the staff at the university and one from the students.