Over Remembrance weekend I was in the company of some of the young people of this area. I am both humbled and grateful for the way in which they demonstrated respect and appreciation to those who have died and those who have served this country.
The cadets at the memorials were a credit to those who give their time to the training of these young people. Those who laid wreaths for the different organisations that they represent did so with dignity and respect. What more can we ask of them?
At Cromwell Community College, Chatteris , I like many others had the privilege to join the students and staff for their Service of Remembrance, which again was presented with grace and sincerity by the students. Yes, like many there, I wiped away a tear – not of sadness, but of gratitude to these young people who show appreciation to those, many not much older than themselves, who endeavour by service to their country to create a safe and a better place to live.
A school that produces students of this quality is not doing much wrong and is in safe hands.
I will not tar all young people with the same brush when some act of mindless damage or vandalism occurs – I will remind myself of these youngsters and the vast majority who do so much for our community.
Terence C Shad,
Chair, March and Chatteris Royal Naval Association
I was just one in a crowd of several hundred who watched the Remembrance Parade and service around the war memorial in March. I found it both moving and respectful and I would like to pay tribute to Parade Marshal Major Nigel Spencer for his professional and smooth running organisation of the parade and wreath laying ceremony. Thank you Spence, you did us proud.
In the past we regularly had a Citizen reporter ring me to see how Remembrance Sunday was carried off in Chatteris. Sadly, for the last couple of years, this hasn’t happened.
It is most disappointing as something new happens every year here in Chatteris:
Every year we fly a different Allies flag and invite members of that country to join us on parade. Sadly this year the Indian Embassy in London had no one available, so we contacted the Hindu and Sikh communities in Peterborough to join us – which they did in numbers. Thirty members marched, laid wreaths and came to the church service.
In their generosity they donated £200 to the Poppy Appeal – 35 wreaths were laid in all, this has risen from 10 during the last 10 years.
The subcontinent of India sent 1.2 million soldiers off to war on our behalf – 67,000 were killed and 57,000 wounded. These soldiers won 11 VC’s – indeed the first Indian (a Muslim) to be awarded a VC, earned this highest gallantry on the 31st October, 1914.
I would also like to see a thank you in your paper to all who were involved in the afternoon – the marchers, wreath layers, the community who lined the streets and attended the church service. Over £500 was raised for the Appeal.
It was very heartening to see so many youth organisations – led by our own Youth Member, Chatteris Boxing Club, the local detachment of Cadets, the ATC March Band who led the Parade, Cubs, Scouts, Beavers and Guides, Cromwell Community College, Kingsfield and Glebelands schools and young children’s group Dot to Tots. For the last three years they have made their own wreath.
Without these young people there would be no future for the Legion or indeed Remembrance Day.
Maj Norman Larke
Chairman and Parade Marshall, Chatteris Branch Royal British Legion
On November 8 at midday I visited the War Memorial at Outwell to place a wreath in memory of my brother, Bernard, who was killed in action in 1944, aged just 19 years old.
We were appalled at the state of the memorial and surrounding area. My last year’s wreath was lying in mud and rubbish, as was that of a gentleman who had also come to place his wreath. We were very sad, upset and disturbed.
Together we cleared the rubbish with our bare hands, but without a brush and pan we could not bring it to the state it should have been in.
We have since tried to find the person or persons responsible for the upkeep of the memorial, but so far no one has returned my phone calls or messages – perhaps a reader will enlighten me.
Surely,surely, our boys deserve more than this. We are unable to stand by their graves. They didn’t come back. They gave their lives for us.
Does anyone in Outwell care? I think not.