Armistice Day 2019 - on the Somme
Despite the most horrendous weather in and around Albert on the 11th November we still managed to attend a number of commemoration events throughout the day.
Dodging the rain as best we could, we called at Thiepval, Lochnagar and the Ulster Tower to pay our respects, as well as a number of the small villages dotted around the Somme. And this year we left our ‘Brimington Remembers’ wreath on the gates of the Pozières Memorial, where it could be seen from the road.
1st July 2019
Despite the passing of the centenary of the end of the First World War- it was heartening to see the usual 1st July – commemoration ceremonies were still taking place all around the Somme area.
We chose to attend one of the smaller commemoration services at Montauban-de-Picardie, a small village in the heart of the fighting area. The villagers turned out in force to honour the fallen, and a company of ‘British Tommies’ added significance to the event.
The Glory Hole (ILOT) at La Boisselle was unexpectedly opened for the day on 1st July so we took the opportunity to look around the site. We have followed the project’s progress for many years, so we were thrilled to be able to take a closer look at long last.
Not a lot to see but the significance of the area cannot be underestimated
Pond Farm - Langemark-Poelkapelle, Ypres - 27th June 2019
We’ve known about Pond Farm Museum and its proprietor Stijn Butaye for years, but we’ve somehow never gotten around to booking a visit – until June this year – 2019. Stijn guided us on an extensive tour of his museum which was even better than we’d expected.
The collection of items from the First World War were all found and dug up on and around the farm, including live munitions - and Stijn gave a fascinating explanation of many
of the items. And
of course, the star exhibit for us was the famous Damon II Tank
which Stijn has been painstakingly building/restoring for many years.
Before we left, we gave Stijn a special Brimington
( pictured above) which we’d made especially for him – it is now exhibited in the museum .
Pond Farm facebook - www.facebook.com/www.depondfarm.be
Above - photos from Pond Farm
Guards’ Cemetery, Lesboeufs on the Somme - April 2019
On 16th April 2019 we were honoured to attend a rededication burial and service for an unknown WW1 soldier.
His remains had been recovered in 2018 near Ginchy on the Somme but despite extensive research by the CWGC it was not possible to identify the soldier or his regiment.
He was afforded a military funeral attended by British Defence Staff, local dignitaries, CWGC staff, and with us and a few other members of the public standing in respectful silence.
His union - flag draped coffin was carried to the graveside by soldiers from the 4th Bn The Mercian Regiment, who performed the sad task with respect and dignity for their fallen comrade.
The deferential service was conducted by the battalion Chaplain and close by the headstone, stood ready to be put in place and bore
the inscription ‘Soldier of the Great War, Known unto God’
As the coffin was finally lowered into the grave, it was for us a poignant reminder that many of our Brimington men were lost and never found in the surrounding fields. And maybe – just maybe this unknown soldier might have been one of our missing men.
CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION
We have recently been recognised by the ‘Big Ideas’ organisation - not only for our decades of
research into Brimington’s part in the first world war but also for bringing the village community together to make.....
‘ an outstanding contribution to the Remembrance of all those who served in the first world war..'
The certificate of recognition
During 2017/18 The ‘Big Ideas’ project ran a campaign to help raise awareness of the centenary of the end of the great war - in
November 2018 – we were invited to contribute throughout the year.
Our research on Brimington’s women roles in the war won special praise. And our formation of the ‘Brimington Remembers’ group which successfully organised 2 village events during 2018 and brought the community together helped towards the final judging.