WOKING town centre fell silent last Sunday (November 12) as young and old alike gathered for the Service of Remembrance.

The service, led by the Rev Adrian Beavis, vicar of Christ Church, Woking, began at 10.35am and included contributions from the Mayor of Woking, Cllr M Ilyas Raja, who also led the wreath-laying, and Imam Hashmi of the Shah Jahan Mosque. The Exhortation was read by Kevin Davis, representing the Royal British Legion.

Knaphill High Street had fallen movingly silent a day earlier – at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – for its Service of Remembrance.

The service was led by the Rev Neil Hopkins, of Holy Trinity Church, Knaphill, supported by all the churches of Knaphill and Brookwood. 

Prayers for peace were read by children from St Hugh of Lincoln School and poems of Remembrance were read by children from Knaphill Junior School.

Woking MP Jonathan Lord read the Act of Remembrance and the wreath-laying ceremony was led by the chairman of Surrey County Council, Cllr Saj Hussain, and by the second in command of the Army Training Centre, Pirbright, Major Thomas Wallis.

On behalf of all the Knaphill councillors, Cllr Hussain and Cllr Hassan Akberali thanked the local churches for organising a wonderful service and the large crowd of residents for attending and supporting the event.

At Gordon’s School, West End, members of the community joined students, parents and staff for the parade and Service of Remembrance last Sunday around the Parade Square at the school, taken by the school chaplain, the Rev Graham Wright.

Dressed in their Blues uniform and accompanied by the Pipes and Drums, the student body marched and remembered the sacrifices of so many, including the 155 former students killed in action during the First World War, 31 in the Second World War and Gordonians Darryl Gardiner and Michael Gilyeat and affiliated staff member Steve Curley, all killed in Afganistan.

Staff, students and their families, many of whom are currently serving their country in the Forces, observed the two-minute silence, preceded by The Last Post played by trumpeter Ben Hallett. Jess Fowler piped The Lament.

In his address, the Rev Wright said: “We have much to be thankful for in November 2023. Life may not be perfect but we all know it could be so, so much worse. The way of life we enjoy is, in no small measure, the result of the sacrifices of young people, who saw the bigger picture and were willing to put others before themselves.”