At 11.00 on Sunday 14 November 2021, Bridport along with cities, towns and villages across the country try fell silent for two minutes as people paid their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the two World Wars and numerous conflicts since.
The contrast between the Act of Remembrance this year and last year was profound. Twelve months ago, due to the Covid restrictions we were all living under, the ceremony was carried out by a small group of representatives and the public were advised to participate via a live link.
This year we were able to return to ‘normal’ with South Street closed and full representation by the military and civil support services, and the unrestricted participation of the general public.
For me it was a great privilege to inspect the assembled military and support services that were lined up along East Street before walking behind the Wessex Military band to the War memorial beside St Mary’s Church on South Street. The pavements were deep with onlookers, and many upstairs windows were filled with people watching the parade. Some standing in silence, some waving and some clapping as we passed by.
As I stood looking out on the assembled throng, I recognised people from the town and the three neighbouring parishes that we all think of as Bridport all coming together as one to pay their respects. Standing in silence for two minutes my thoughts turned to those members of my own family who have served. In particular, those that made that ultimate sacrifice to enable me to live my life in freedom and safety.
On behalf of all those people I would like to take the opportunity to thank Bridport Town Council for coordinating the ceremony and their staff for the work done on the day to enable the Act of Remembrance to be carried out. My thanks also go to St Mary’s Church, members of the Royal British Legion, representatives of the military services, ex-forces associations, Wessex Military Band, our emergency services, St John Ambulance, and the host of community and voluntary organisations also involved in the parade. Particular thanks go to John Dean, the Parade Commander, and Scott McGregor, the Parade Marshal.
The photographs below give a flavour of the occasion.
A reminder that during the coming weeks when we give thought to the presents we are going to give on Christmas Day please consider a donation to the Mayor’s Charities which this year are:
Harmony – because the Covid pandemic has resulted in a marked increase the number of people suffering from mental wellbeing issues. Harmony provides a much needed place where individuals can seek expert, non judgemental support.
The Living Tree – because cancer sufferers have been particularly badly hit by the backlog in diagnosis and treatment caused by the pressure on the NHS due to the Covid pandemic. It is a self-help support group for people who have experienced cancer and for their families/carers. Members are all at different stages of cancer – some recently diagnosed, others undergoing treatment, some in remission, others post-cancer.
If, like me, you are now of an age where you are in receipt of winter fuel allowance, a gift from the government, paid automatically during November and December to those eligible.
The winter fuel allowance is an essential part of making the lives of some more bearable by enabling them to heat their homes without worrying, whilst for others it represents a free cherry on top of the icing on an already rich financial cake, please consider donating all or part of it using the methods outlined above.
You can gift your support by donating to the Mayor’s Charity fund by bank transfer:
Sort code: 20-26-62
Account no.: 80036552
Please quote the reference ‘Mayor’s Charity’.
or by cheque, made payable to Bridport Town Council.
Please write ‘Mayor’s Charity’ on the reverse.
Please send to Bridport Town Council, Mountfield, Rax Lane, Bridport, DT6 3JP.