A SERVICE to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme was held at Caversham Court Gardens, writes James Burton
A SERVICE to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme was held at Caversham Court Gardens, writes James Burton.
About 100 people attended the event on Friday, which was organised by the Caversham branch of the Royal British Legion and the gardens’ friends group.
The service began with the unveiling of a new floral border to commemorate the centenary. This was designed by head gardener Will Paice and features the words “SOMME 1916-2016” in white and red begonias along with a “poppy” design.
Ron Jewitt, president of the legion branch, delivered the opening address and Rev Marion Pyke, associate priest at St Peter’s Church in The Warren, led prayers.
Pauline Palmer, the Caversham Poppy Appeal organiser, read Laurence Binyon’s poem For The Fallen and a wreath was laid by Mr Jewitt.
Lt Jim McMaster, another member of the Legion, gave a salute with a sword that belonged to his great uncle Capt Charles McMaster, who won the Military Cross for bravery in action near Thiepval in 1916.
Army cadet Jarrod Waugh, 18, played the Last Post and Reveille and then a two-minute silence was observed. Those present include pupils from Hemdean House School in Caversham.
Afterwards, Mrs Palmer said: “It was a lovely occasion and I’m very pleased that so many young people attended.
“The link between the present and what happened 100 years ago is very important and they are the generation that will keep that memory alive into the future.”