Last week was dominated by services of remembrance for the large number of people who fought to protect our country during the two world wars, and those involved in armed conflicts since that time. Many local people are related to these heroes. We are grateful to the Royal British Legion for organising events and selling poppies. The money raised helps care for injured service personnel and families of those killed or maimed.
I laid wreaths at the war memorial in front of the Cathedral at 11am on 11th November and on Sunday 13th. I also laid wreaths in St George’s Chapel inside the Cathedral and at the grave of Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy (Woodbine Willie) in St John’s Cemetery.
These services were very special and people turned out to show their respects. Two minutes of silence in Cathedral Square was especially poignant.
Serving soldiers, volunteer reserves, cadets, British Legion members, police cadets, St John Ambulance and others formed a magnificent procession on Sunday from the Cathedral. The Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire and I took their salute as they passed the Guildhall.
On Friday evening the Cathedral hosted the Lights of Love service for St Richard’s Hospice. A candle-lit service was followed by a gathering at St Andrew’s Spire where the names of loved ones who died from life-limiting illnesses are listed. Those left behind are grateful for this opportunity to share with others their fond memories of those no longer with us.
A much happier occasion was the presentation by the Lord Lieutenant, on behalf of HM The Queen, of a British Empire Medal awarded to the family of Dawn Clements, who passed away before she could receive it herself. Dawn helped save thousands of lives by raising awareness of polio. The infection took the life of her first husband, Birmingham City and England player Jeff Hall, in 1959, aged 29. She worked tirelessly to spread the word about the importance of vaccination.