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18th November, 2023.
In contrast to the controversial and confusing parades and commemorations in London last weekend, the annual celebration in Sowerby on Sunday 12th was quiet and dignified.
The format of the service is well established, the British Legion Band marched to the war memorial, preceded by a detachment from the Royal Artillery garrison at Alanbroke Barracks, prayers, the Last Post, the two minutes silence (Not on this occasion bracketed by rounds from a field gun) followed by a recital of the names inscribed on the memorial.
The majority of those who died in The Great War, followed by a shorter number who made the supreme sacrifice in World War Two, with a late addition of a couple who died in Afghanistan.
Over the years, the recital of the names has been made more intimate; when we first attended the ceremony, decades ago, just the initials and surname were given, now the research has been done, and their full first names are included.
I recognized some of the names read out, as belonging to families still living in the village. Not that there have not been any smaller wars since then, just that they have not involved the deaths of local servicemen - Korea, Malaya, the numerous outbreaks in the Middle East all passed without an immediate local death roll...
(To read the rest of this article go along to your nearest stockist and buy a copy of the paper)
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