AT THE 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, a hundred or so people united in silence in Knaphill in respect of those in the Armed Forces who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The thought-provoking service on Tuesday, commendably organised for the sixth but, sadly, final year by the Rev Richard Sherlock of Knaphill Baptist Church, took place at the site of the old library where it is hoped the village will eventually have its own memorial garden.
Thanks to the good-hearted Sprint Travel company, a dozen British Army recruits were chaperoned from Pirbright to Knaphill to march down the High Street to join the ceremony.
Others who took part included Woking MP Jonathan Lord, Councillors Saj Hussain and Debbie Harlow, bugler Ruth Moore, Rev Nick Grew from Holy Trinity, Rev David Faulkner from the Methodist Church, Phil and Jillian Orme from the Sandes military charity, and pupil representatives of St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary and Knaphill Junior Schools.
Rev Sherlock conducted the service, which included Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam. Bugler Ruth signalled The Last Post for the two-minute silence, finishing with The Reveille.
Then a British Army representative concluded the Exhortation with: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, For their tomorrow we gave, and are still giving, our today.”
Perhaps the most touching of the readings were the prayers both written and read out by Philip Mueller-Doblies and Kathryn Terry of St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary, and poetry by Abigail Nicolini, Ellis Wake, Evie Pascal and Maanya Shankar from Knaphill Junior Schools.
A particularly moving poem written with remarkable maturity by 10-year-old Ellis tugged hard at the heartstrings, and he clearly felt emotional as he recited What I most Remember From The Brutal War… bringing a tear to many eyes, including those of his mum Louise and his grandparents Tina and Donald.
Mr Lord told the News & Mail: “It was a very special service in the village, I thought, and the readings from the young schoolchildren were extremely moving.”
Rev Sherlock, who instigated the successful village Remembrance Service, will be moving with his wife Larrie to a flock in pastures new in January.