Remembering those who gave so much

Bridlington commemorated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War with two events on Monday.

The first event, led by the town council, took place on Monday morning at the War Memorial when veterans, councillors, standard bearers and members of the public gathered to pay their respects.

Cllr Shelagh Finlay lays a wreath

Cllr Shelagh Finlay lays a wreath

Bridlington mayor Cllr Shelagh Finlay laid a wreath at the memorial and read the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

There was also a piper, Martin Campbell, who accompanied the service.

Cllr Finlay, said: “We had an excellent turnout and it was a very moving ceremony for the town.

“We had our main commemoration event on 27 July at the Priory but we also thought it was important to mark the actual 100 year anniversary as well.

“We obviously have people from the town who took part in the First World War and it is very important for the town to make special efforts to remember that.

“I would like to thank everybody who turned up to the ceremony.”

As the sun faded, a second ceremony at the War Memorial took place.

The ‘Lights Out’ service, led by local historian Mike Wilson, incorporated poems and recorded music and candles were extinguished during the final reading of Remembrance.

During the ceremony Mike said: “We particularly remember this evening the soldiers, sailors and airmen who are named on this monument who gave their lives in World War One.

“There are 334 names, 334 men, young and old, who were husbands, lovers, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, sons, uncles, nephews, workmates, colleagues or friends. They were not only military men.”

He then gave details of the worst day for Bridlington in the First World War, Sunday, 25th April, 1915, when ten Bridlington men lost their lives.

A volunteer from the crowd then read a poem, My Thoughts, by Chris Bonnett, co-creator of The Great War Heroes of Bridlington.

Four army cadets, standing at attention on the steps of the Cenotaph then read out the names of those who are recorded on the monument.

On the 27th July the town council held its main service to commemorate the First World War at the Priory.

A wreath was laid and the last post was played by Daryl Dexter, while members of the emergency services also attended to mark the occasion.

The Reverend Matthew Pollard, said: “I was very pleased to see so many people from across Bridlington turning out for a very important service in the life of the town.

“It was good to welcome the mayor and Mr Finlay, with representatives also from East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the fire service and St John’s Ambulance.

“It was a very well attended service in which we commemorated the outbreak of World War One with people from all religious traditions, and that is how it should be.”