Lichfield Diocese Remembers Afresh

Published: 16th September 2013

While the last known service veteran to remember the signing of the Armistice at 11am on 11 September 1918 died this year, many will gather to honour comrades, family and friends who made the ultimate sacrifice at numerous other conflicts since including the two recent Gulf wars and the conflict in Afghanistan. Gratitude & pain will be among the emotions felt across the nation as churches and veterans groups continue to care for the casualties and families whose lives have been transformed by recent wars.At St Margarets Church, Great Barr near Walsall and on the southern edge of the diocese, a new pair of memorials will be the focus of Remembrance this year after metal thieves stole the originals in 2011.The new memorials were dedicated in September at a special service. Twenty-two Standards representing the British Legion, Royal Naval Association, Royal Air Force Association, The Staffordshire Regimental Association (various branches) and the 59th Staffordshire Division, The Normandy Veterans, Royal Artillery Association, Royal Army Service Corps Association, The Federation of Birmingham Ex Service Associations, Birmingham Air Raid Remembrance Association, Air Training Corps and The Scouting Association wereThe service, conducted by Venerable Chris Sims, Archdeacon of Walsall was held in the church with appropriate hymns for the Navy, Air Force and British Legion. In his address, the Archdeacon stressed to a full church both the sacrifice of those remembered and the need to ensure that the stories of bravery and sacrifice were passed on from generation to generation as a lasting tribute. The standards then led everyone out to the gates of the church for the blessing of the plaques. St Margaret's thanked the local police force for managing traffic control in Chapel Lane to ensure this dedication was conducted in safety.The Archdeacon took the opportunity to thank the whole community for its support in the project to fund and replace these memorials with special mention of Lasting Memorials Ltd who had carried out this work, the Royal British Legion, the 20th Walsall Explorer Scouts together with donations from many local businesses and local residents which made this possible.

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