Remembrance Service & Parade Saturday 11 November 2023
The Remembrance Day Service on Saturday 11th November was held at the Town’s War Memorial which was organised by Whitehill Town Council with support from volunteers from local community groups, partner organisations, the local branch of The Royal British Legion & members from Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).
REME played a special part in our Remembrance Service this year, where 200 soldiers from the 4th Battalion in Tidworth Wiltshire, led by Lieutenant Colonel Matt Cary, marched from The Shed to the War Memorial, where they paused for the service. Many of them undertook their initial training in Bordon prior to the army’s departure from Bordon in 2015.
Members of the local community attended the Service to pay their respects to all those who have selflessly given and sacrificed so much for the freedom of future generations and to honour members of the Armed Forces past and present. All those in attendance honoured the two-minute silence at 11.00am.
Wreath laying was led by the Deputy Lieutenant, Mr Whitaker (representing His Majesty the King), Major General Neil Thorpe (REME) and the Town Mayor, Cllr Leeroy Scott, followed by District Councillors, Armed Forces representatives, member of the Royal British Legion, volunteers from The Lions, the Emergency Services, cadet forces and youth organisations and relatives of the fallen. The Service which was conducted by The Reverend Wendy Mallas.
Col Mike Pendlington, President of the Bordon branch of the REME Association and WO1 RSM Graeme King from REME read the names of the fallen from the Roll of Honour whilst crosses were laid for the 69 names read out. Milada Ilchuk, Oakmoor School Head Student, and Cadet Lance Corporal Natalie Stokes from the Army Cadets read the poems ‘In Flanders Fields’ and ‘We Shall Keep the Faith’, whilst local student Nikita read a poem which she wrote herself.
Following the service, REME marched down Camp Road towards Station Road, did an about turn and marched back to the War Memorial where they turned to salute the Deputy Lieutenant, Major General Thorpe and The Town Mayor, Cllr Scott, before marching back to The Shed.
The Mayor’s Cadet, Sergeant Caitlin Sobey of the Bordon and District Air Cadets, accompanied The Mayor at the Armistice Service and flag bearers from RBL, REME and the Bordon & District Air Cadets and Army cadets were on parade at the service.
Following the main Service, The Reverend Wendy Mallas conducted a short service at the Canadian Memorial Garden in Budds Lane and the Military Cemetery in Bolley Avenue where The Town Mayor laid a wreath at both sites on behalf of the Town Council and the local community.
Members of St Matthew’s Church, who organised and served refreshments at the Service would like to pass on their thanks to those members of the public who made a donation to the Church for the refreshments provided. As in previous years, the Church donated the funds received to the local branch of the RBL’s Poppy Appeal.
On 12th November, the Town Mayor and his Consort, Lisa Scott, attended a Remembrance Sunday Service at St Matthew’s Church and laid a wreath at the War Memorial at the Church on behalf of the Town Council and the local community.
The Town Council would like to thank those that helped make this year’s Remembrance Service & Parade a great success and is grateful to be able to continue to work with the REME.
Cllr Andy Tree, Leader of the Council, said: “Thank so much to our Town Council staff for organising our Armistice Day event, Reverend Wendy Mallas for leading and to all those involved including REME, who we were proud to see march through our town. Thank you for to all residents who came to remember those who left but never came back and those who came back but then had to live with the memories of war.”