It was a lovely Sunday. A light grey sky framed the autumn-yellow and brown trees beautifully. Startling red poppies bobbed on the chests of 100s of people converging at the Warrington War Memorial, where crowds surrounded the cenotaph, spilled onto the pavements and roads – even across the Mersey Bridge. By 11, all had settled, ‘The Last Post’ sounded and the standards were dipped.
Lt Col Les Taylor-Duff delivered the famous lines from Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem: ‘For the Fallen’ and the crowd responded in union: ‘We will remember them.’ The two minutes silence was impeccably observed, not even a baby cried. A single, vexed crow cawed from somewhere down-river.
Reveille marked the end and Les Taylor-Duff gave the poignant ‘Kohima Epitaph’. Wreaths were laid as ‘Lord of Lords and King Eternal’ was sung by the assembled.
There was a strong multi-faith aspect to the service: Matthew five verses one to 12 was read by Father Christopher Cunningham, Catholic Dean of Warrington. Various prayers were delivered by Rev Paul Wilson, Rector of Warrington, Omkar Sud of the Hindu Faith Community and Afthkar Quayyum of the Muslim Faith Community.
Colour Sergeant Laura Elvin read the entirety of Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem: ‘For the Fallen’ and the service was concluded by the Rev Paul Wilson. The National Anthem was then sung.
Brethren at the cenotaph were Andy Barton (group chairman), Les Ashcroft, Stan Churm, Gordon Archer, Chris Gleave (group vice chairman), Taylor-Duff and Eric Drinkwater. Wreaths were laid in remembrance by Stan Churm, Les Taylor-Duff, Eric Drinkwater and Andy Barton. It truly was a lovely Sunday.