More than 500 people crowded into St Mary’s on Sunday, November 8, for the annual Remembrance Day service, when Rye remembers its war dead. The service was preceded by a parade that stretched from The George to Adams and which included representatives from the Cubs, Brownies, Scouts, Guides and Sea Cadets as well as ex-servicemen and other uniformed services like the firemen (See above, and the slideshow below for more photographs).
The parade passed by the Town Hall, greeted by, and saluting, the Mayor and councillors, who then followed everyone else in procession into the church. The one minute silence was heralded by a maroon, fired from The Salts.
After the service, the flags and banners having been collected from the altar, the congregation moved outside to the war memorial where the names of the 22 men who died in the 1915 battles of Loos and Neuve Chapelle were read aloud, followed by the haunting notes of the Last Post, announcing a silence that was ended by the traditional call of Reveille.
There are 150 names in total engraved on the memorial, including those from more recent conflicts such as the Gulf and Iraq wars.
Led by the Mayor, representatives from different organisations laid wreaths at the war memorial, including the museum, Rye Lions, local schools and the emergency services, and the parade was commanded by Neale East (with beard below), chairman of the local branch of the Royal British Legion. The wreaths on the steps to the memorial were then matched by small crosses around the memorial in the flowerbed, remembering individuals and planted by young members of various organisations.
The slideshow below shows the various stages in the procession, service, and laying of wreaths and planting of crosses.
Afterwards coffee was served in the church and in the Town Hall, and a delicious lunch at the River Haven followed for people who had been involved in the British Legion’s poppy appeal.
Michel Duvoisin, the bugler, who has played the Last Post for many years at the ceremony, was honoured and Kate Rogers sang some hauntingly moving songs.
Photos: John Minter and Seana Lanigan