This morning was the Service of Remembrance in my hometown of Andover, although I have many times before watched the parade through town this was the first time I had actually gone to the service held at the Garden of Remembrance outside of St Mary’s Church, as expected it was packed with people there to pay their respects to those that have fallen in service of their country.
What I found really lovely about today’s event was though that despite the service being held outside the organiser’s had ensured plenty of programs were available which were passed out throughout the crowd enabling everyone to follow the service and join in where appropriate.
I was at the event with family and friends and found it very moving and afterwards made sure I took a photograph of all the wreaths laid, one of which was laid by a friend of my daughter in the Army Cadets.
Coming from a local family who can trace some branches back to the 1500’s in the Andover area I see many names on the Cenotaph that I recognise and am no doubt connected to in some distant way. I have not looked into any of the men on the cenotaph as at the time of the First World War my direct family were in the St Mary Bourne area and it is those that I am concentrating my efforts on at present. One day I hope that I will be able to find out more about some of those listed as each and every person on it deserves commemorating for their service to their country. I include in this post as it is this year 100 years since the start of the First World War pictures of all sides of the Cenotaph which contains the names of all those fallen in this war. Around the edge of the area in which the Cenotaph stands are the names of the fallen in other wars.
Finally, for those that are unaware the Andover Cenotaph was not originally in the churchyard but was originally in front of the Guildhall. Personally I feel that it is a shame that it was moved and is not where the families of the fallen had seen it placed after the war in which their loved ones were killed.
Andover Guildhall & Cenotaph (from change.org website)