Remembering their sacrifice 100 years on

Opening of the Garden of Remembrance, Hastings war memorial. Photo by Roberts Photographic SUS-181029-073537001
Opening of the Garden of Remembrance, Hastings war memorial. Photo by Roberts Photographic SUS-181029-073537001

This weekend is Remembrance Sunday, and it is a particularly special one as we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War 1. On this day, we commemorate the brave soldiers who fought for our country in the First World War, and particularly those who lost their lives.

Remembering the bravery of the armed forces in the early twentieth century is important, but so is appreciating how immensely valued our armed forces still are and the exceptional work that they do in what are often extremely difficult circumstances. It is important that in 2011 the Government made a clear commitment through the Armed Forces Covenant to support members of the Armed Forces Community. This includes both serving personnel and veterans.

There are a number of local events taking place to mark the centenary of the Armistice. Last week, I went to the “Westfield Remembers World War 1 Exhibition” where the community joined together to create an impressive display of poppies. At the Church Hall there was an extraordinary display of the local family histories, with biographies, photographs, and letters. It was a fascinating insight into a terrible period.

We also cannot forget the amazing work by the Pett Women’s Institute, who created a display of 10,000 poppies to decorate the town and remember this significant centenary. In Hastings the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery have marked the centenary with two new exhibitions and on the 10th the Gallery is holding a free open afternoon for ‘Hastings Remembers: Local Stories of the First World War’ from 14:00 – 15:30 with refreshments and activities for families.

Last weekend, a new Garden of Remembrance was opened in Alexandra Park next to the war memorial – make sure you pop by and take a look! Later on this weekend, myself and several local councillors will take part in a parade from the Town Hall to the war memorial for a service of remembrance to remember those who fought and died for our country, as well as for those who continue to live in conflict and fight to resolve it. My father served in the RAF, so I have immense respect for those who put their lives on the line every day, so it is only right that we remember them.

Whether you are in Hastings, Rye, or any of our local villages, I do hope that you might be able to join one of these events. If not, I hope that you will consider picking up a poppy to support the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, fundraising the excellent work they do to support our armed forces.