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Wincanton remembers the Battle of Passchendaele

Monday 7 August 2017, 15:39
By Tony Goddard

Video Guide

00:18 - Wincanton Youth Theatre opening songs
01:50 - Introduction, Revd. Peter Dixon
05:01 - Reading, Mayor Howard Ellard
06:07 - Battle overview, Revd. Peter Dixon
12:00 - Blessing of the Passchendaele Tree
14:07 - Accounts of Wincanton soldiers
18:40 - Act of Remembrance, Tony Goddard
19:00 - Last Post, Silence & Reveille
21:15 - The Dedication, Tony Goddard
21:30 - Prayers
24:08 - Hymn
27:20 - National Anthem
28:07 - Blessing
28:59 - Closing song, WYT solo

On Sunday 30th July 2017 Wincanton Royal British Legion commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele with a service of remembrance around the War Memorial in the Memorial Hall grounds. The ceremony was led by the chaplain to 1 Regiment Army Air Corps, the Revd. Peter Dixon and supported by an honour guard from the Regiment.

During the service a sapling was dedicated, grown from acorns collected at the high ground of Passchendaele Ridge by Tony Goddard, chairman of the Wincanton RBL branch. A plaque has been made to record the event and will be mounted at the tree which will now be known as “The Passchendaele Tree”.

The emphasis of the commemoration was focused on the young people of the town, and representatives from King Arthur’s School, the Scouts and the Sea Cadets read details of the four soldiers from Wincanton, Harry Coombe, Gerald Cronin, Reginald Hill and Charles Mullins, who were killed during the 100 days of the Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres) – all of whom have no known graves.

Young members of the Wincanton Youth Theatre sang soldiers songs of the First World War prior to the ceremony and closed the event with a very moving rendition of “Keep the home fires burning” - a sad nostalgic song of the period.

The Mayor of Wincanton, Councillor Howard Ellard, gave the reading, and Last Post and Reveille was sounded by a member of HMS Heron Band. Guest of Honour was Robert McDonald, chairman of the County of Somerset Royal British Legion. The event was very well supported by townspeople estimated to number around 150.


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