Remembrance for the Fallen

Written by Mary Sinclair Powell

Ross-on-Wye War Memorial erected 1921
Ross-on-Wye War Memorial erected 1921
Slipping again towards the month of Remembrance for the Fallen of all wars – it is sometimes difficult to realise during this special time of Commemoration for WWI that there are still those around whose grew up with fathers who fought in places such as the Somme and Passchendaele.

This has been brought home lately with the visits to Ross of representatives of the honourable men and women known as the Chelsea Pensioners, who reside at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The two brothers who came in September had a father who fought during WWI (and luckily survived).
There are few people around who do not recognise their scarlet uniforms, which were originally designed by Nell Gwynne, the favourite lady of Charles II, founder of the hospital.

In a previous article in the Ross Voice the local link to the hospital was outlined as the chosen area where the in-Pensioners were evacuated too during WWII – Rudhall Manor and Moraston House.
During the past couple of months I have had the privilege to accompany our esteemed visitors on visits to St Bridget’s Churchyard in Bridstow and St Mary’s Churchyard in Ross where the Royal Hospital Commissioners erected Memorials to those in-Pensioners who died whilst living here.
At each Memorial they have been honoured by their in-Pensioner “descendants” with the laying of poppies.

Ivor and Jean at RHC Memorial Bridstow
Ivor and Jean at RHC Memorial Bridstow
Every year, on the Thursday before Remembrance Sunday, the Royal British Legion lays a wreath in respect of the service and dedication given by these in-Pensioners. We need to reflect that some of these men probably took part in wars far away at the end of the 19th and turn of the 20th Centuries – Boer, Crimea and Transvaal spring to mind – but of course some of them in the 1940’s evacuation could also have been serving during part of WWI depending upon their age at that time.
We are at present in the middle of commemorations for the fallen of WWI, so
Remembrance Services and events across the lands are quite poignant and personal.
The RBL invite everyone to their events and services in November which include:

Poppy Appeal Launch – Market Place – 29th October – 10.00
Chelsea Pensioners (St Mary’s) & Korean Veteran Memorials (Prospect Gardens – 10th November – 12.00
Armistice Day – the Market House – 11th November – 10.45
Remembrance Sunday – the Prospect – 13th November – 10.45
The end of the Battle of the Somme – 18th November (to be arranged).

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will Remember them.