Monday, 9 November 2009

.....especially the men of Birkdale.

Remembrance Sunday found me not at the big ceremony in Lord St but at the small War Memorial at St John's Church Birkdale. There was a full congregation. The act of remembrance at which those who have died in the two world wars and conflicts since has the usual two minutes silence-preceded and ended by a trumpet played by one of the choir boys. There followed a recital of the eighty odds names on the War Memorial read by four young people from the church as we remember 'especially the men of Birkdale'. The youngsters stood in the four corners of the church and in the silence all spoke clearly and well. As you hear the list of local names: Rimmers, Wrights, Balls, Whitesides, Heaps and Littlers, it brings home how devastating the loss of life must have been in our community.

When I was a young lad I remember attending similar services in Lillington where we all stood outside around the War memorial. In those days there were many men who wore their medals from the First World War and one or two who served in the Boer War. I particularly remember Fred Warren an elderly man, who sang in the choir, telling me all about going to South Africa as a young man.

Yesterday there were still men who had served during the Second World War who were wearing their medals. Looking around the church there were younger men and women who have served since.

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