Last Sunday the city, county and nation were able to gather in large numbers to commemorate the fallen in wars and conflicts. As Mayor, one of the greatest honours and duties is to lay a wreath at the War Memorial outside the Cathedral and join in the thousands who gather for the moving ceremony.
Before the outside public service, another is held in the Cathedral. I laid a wreath in St. George’s Chapel, as did the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Brigadier Roger Brunt CBE DL and other senior military officers. After both services the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and I took the salute as uniformed organisations both military and non-military marched past.
In the afternoon a small ceremony was held at St. John’s Cemetery at the grave of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy MC, known to many simply as “Woodbine Willie”. He was the vicar of St. Pauls, Worcester and served as an army chaplain as well as being a war poet. The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Adrian Gregson read out one of his poems. After laying a wreath I said a few words about how he inspired my father, who like Studdert Kennedy, was a socialist cleric and devoted his ministry to serving the impoverished.
On Thursday I was delighted to attend the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service Worcestershire’s awards at the Guildhall. The medals and awards were presented by Fire Authority chairman Councillor Kit Taylor, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Brigadier Roger Brunt CBE DL, the High Sheriff of Herefordshire Richard Amphlett and Chief Fire Officer Jon Pryce.
On Friday lunchtime I joined members of the Worcester Ukulele Club, who were raising funds for Children in Need in Crowngate shopping centre. The BBC fundraising campaign has been running since 1927 and as a Friday night telethon since 1980. It has benefitted countless numbers of children in Worcester over the years.