An amazing turnout on Remembrance Sunday
Thousands of residents came out on Sunday 11 November to attend Thame’s Service of Remembrance at the Memorial Gardens. It was a beautiful sunny morning and local photographer Pete Stratton (Creative Skies) captured some amazing aerial drone images of the Remembrance Service, including the one above as the crowds lined the street to watch the procession as it arrived at the Memorial Gardens.
The procession from the Town Hall was led by the Royal British Legion, Air Training Corps and Army Cadet Force, followed by many of our local community groups. Over 50 wreaths were laid at the Memorial Gardens with the service led by Rev’d Alan Garratt of St Mary’s Church. The crowds were also treated to an impressive flypast from RAF Benson.
Later in the day, a well-attended beacon lighting event took place at the Memorial Gardens featuring performances from Anne Reid-Hansen and Tay o’Lay. Thame Town Council would like to thank everyone involved, notably Gregory Distribution for providing the stage, Justin Owen for the sound equipment, The W Cafe for accepting the invitation to open on the Sunday evening and The Chippy for offering 100 free cones of chips. Special thanks should also be noted to Sue Hurst for playing the piccolo and Mark Young for videoing.
Thame Town Council would like to thank everyone who attended / supported the Remembrance Service on Sunday, as well as the many commemorative projects across Thame, including the Beacon Lighting event, house poppy project and Living Monument. A special thanks goes to Thame Remembers for their extensive research and efforts to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Between 1 and 12 November, almost 200 homes in Thame displayed a poppy, or poppies, in their front windows as a visual and poignant tribute to the men who lived there before going to fight in the War. Of the 600 men who left to fight, Thame Remembers were able to trace addresses for 320 of them, 65 of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice. The poppies, printed by Windles, were coloured in and cut out by local schoolchildren, scouts, guides, the Youth Café and Day Centre. Poppies with a black centre represent those who did not return, and a white centre represents those who did.
Additional poppies were also displayed around the Town Hall.
A tree sapling, with a commemorative plaque, was planted at Southern Road Recreation Ground on the Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve as part of the Trees of Remembrance Project (a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council and The Woodlands Trust).
Silhouettes were placed in the churches of Thame and at the Memorial Gardens (at the Service of Remembrance) as part of the national ‘There but Not There’ project.
A life size ‘Tommy’ was installed at the Memorial Gardens during the National Poppy Appeal as part of the Royal British Legion’s ‘Thank you’ project. The lifesize Tommy was purchased by RBL with the proceeds of the Vintage Tea event held in August.
A temporary art installation, titled ‘Living Monument’ at The Old Train Station Platform on the Phoenix Trail in Thame was on display over the Remembrance weekend. This community art installation and Remembrance Memorial consisted of 130 portraits of men currently living in Thame and the surrounding areas representing each of the individuals who went off to fight in WW1.
Thame Remembers Project
The Thame Remembers Project, launched in 2014, undertook to commemorate the centenary of World War One by researching all the names on the Thame War Memorials, for all conflicts, to discover more about their lives, and to challenge the people of Thame to place a ‘Thame Remembers’ cross on each resting place, wherever in the world that may be. The community took up the challenge and more than 300 people have collectively travelled more than 150,000 miles to visit cemeteries and battlefield memorials in 23 countries across four continents.
Find out more at thameremembers.org