Darwen Cemetery Remembrance – A worthy tribute

Since the FODC launched the Adopt a War Grave scheme coordinated by Friend, Diane Davies, over 80 of the 90 plus Commonwealth and family war grave memorials have been adopted.

So when it came to this year’s Remembrance Day Commemorations it seemed right to organise some acts of Remembrance involving local residents, schools and youth organisations who have been committed to tendering and adopting the graves.

On Remembrance Day itself over 90 people including representatives from the local schools came along with residents, members of staff from BwD Parks and Cemetery team and led by Rev. Lena Talbot, herself a FODC,
we stood in silence, some of the young people read poems, laid wreaths on the Cross of Sacrifice and then placed poppy crosses on all the war graves and memorials to our fallen in both cemeteries.  It was very moving to see groups of children and young people tendering and taking time to place a poppy cross on the graves many of which were made by D Day veteran Richard Westhead who attended the service and laid the FODC wreath.

On Sunday morning a surprisingly good turnout of over 60 FODC, including Scouts from St. Joseph’s attended a service of remembrance at the cross of sacrifice at 10.45am again led by Rev. Lena Talbot; the young people toured the graves placing poppy crosses.

One of the St. Joseph’s Scout Leaders said, “Many of the Scouts spend time looking at the war graves and were amazed at just how young some of them were.  We are pleased that our Scouts can help and the service was relevant and pitched just right for them.”

A big thank you to all concerned, especially, Rosemary, husband Len, Paul, Patrick and Diane and other FODC who helped.

It was a moving and inspirational – making it a truly dignified and respectful day of remembering the many lives lost in conflict, especially these who are at peace in Darwen Cemetery.

Some thoughts from some of the children who attended the Remembrance Day Service

“I thought the cemetery was very peaceful and calm. I really enjoyed listening to peoples lives and what they did I had images in my head of what it looked like”.

Olivia, St Peter’s C.E. Primary School.

“I really enjoyed going to the cemetery because I found out new information about the soldiers and it made me imagine what it would be like in WW1 and WW2”
Kelsey, St Peter’s C.E. Primary School.

“I like going to the cemetery it was amazing finding out about people in the war, the Australian was in 1st World War but his death was a bit weird he died with flu, How weird”.

“It was very good going to the cemetery and thinking of all the men that fought for us in the war”.

Ashleigh School
Year Five children have made some Flower pots for their war graves in the Cemetery and have placed them on the graves in the last few days.
The teaching assistant who organises the gardening projects explained to the children that this will be the first time in a long time that these graves have had flowers on at Christmas. she said some of the children were genuinely touched by this thought.

FODC November – December 2010