Following a particularly well-attended Remembrance Sunday morning service, here in Pagham we also marked the Centenary of the Armistice with a second event, “Remember, Recall, Reflect, 1918-2018”. As people arrived in church they were met with the haunting presence of Tommy silhouettes representing the 21 sons of Pagham killed in the Great War. Each one was named and so we sat among those who were “there, but not there” (the epithet of the silhouette-sponsoring organisation); those whose lives were cut short, but whose memory lived – and lives – on.
The poetry and talks reflected a range of aspects of the conflict, from Richard Peters’ overview of the War and its ongoing legacy in areas such as aviation, the Royal British Legion and female emancipation to Stephen Cox-Rusbridge’s detailed focus on Ernest Keates, both of whom have lived in the same property and share a military background.
The Glenwood Ladies’ Choir enhanced the mood perfectly, from the uplifting “Sussex by the Sea” to the tender and bittersweet “Keep the home fires burning”. The Great War for Civilisation may have ended 100 years ago, but we continue to light a flame for those fallen and those bereaved, as we pray that they are now bathed in the light of heaven for ever.
Mark Eminson – Vicar