Bishop dedicates S Norfolk remembrance book
On Remembrance Day afternoon at a special service Bishop Graham James dedicated the Forncetts’ Book of Remembrance in St Peter’s Church.
The book contains portrait photographs and significant details of all those who sacrificed their lives in the service of their country in the two world wars and whose names are inscribed on the war memorials of Forncett St Mary and Forncett St Peter.
The service was illuminated by readings from Ecclesiastes 3 (John Webster) and of the poem ‘The Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon (Nick Champion), which was followed by a moving tribute of projected images of the Forncetts’ fallen, and viewed to Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’, before Bishop Graham dedicated the Book of Remembrance and signed bound copies. [Photo: Su Leavesley]
The Last Post was sounded by bugler, James Higham, before two minutes silence was observed and ‘Abide with me’ sung. Prayers were spoken by Margaret Styles, Mike Boxall and John Hooper. Then Graham Prior read ‘My Chums’, an unpublished poem, written by a wounded soldier being cared for in the American Women’s Hospital in Paignton, Devon. The service was concluded with the Blessing by Bishop Graham, whose Chaplain was in attendance. Barry Holdstock accompanied the service throughout at the church organ.
There was considerable interest from members of the congregation after the service to view the Books of Remembrance, particularly those whose relations were involved. Afterwards all present were invited to walk to Forncett School for a sumptuous afternoon tea provided by Forncett History Group, with grateful thanks to Rachel and her team at the school. Unfortunately, Head Teacher, Judith Jones was indisposed.
This service brought to a conclusion a major aspect of the Forncett History Group’s Great War Project. All the research for this project, including visits to France and Belgium, has been done by FHG member
. As she writes in her acknowledgement: “In doing this research mere names have become real young men, who lived, worked, walked the lanes of these villages, who loved and were loved, destined never to return home. Their sacrifice will be remembered by future generations. This Book of Remembrance is dedicated to them: 'Lest we forget'.”
Visitors to the three churches in the Forncetts will now be able to refer to the Book of Remembrance at any time. The design and layout for the books was done by John Webster
, Chairman of the FHG, and the printing by Swallowtail Print.
The other strand of the FHG’s Great War project is its Time Line in real time, which was begun in August. It shows the gradually unfolding conflicts of the 1914-1918 Great War and the involvement of local folk.
When major restoration work is completed on Forncett St Mary church the display will transfer there from Forncett St Peter church, where it is now on public display.
More information is available on www.forncett.info.