Chichester Falls Silent on Remembrance Sunday
The sunny but cold morning seemed apt as we gathered to remember the fallen in the Cathedral city of Chichester, England today. As young an old gathered in East Street to watch the Remembrance Day Parade, I stopped and talked. “It’s a cold one this morning,” a smartly dressed member of the local Royal Naval Association said to me. “Mind you it's not raining, and I think this is the best turnout we have had for years!” And he was right as I looked around it seemed the entire population of Chichester had arrived to pay their respects, it was wonderful to see.
The order was given, and the Remembrance Parade set off through the town towards the War Memorial in Litten Gardens. Once at the memorial, a two minutes silence was held, a rare moment in everyone’s hectic lives to stop and stand as one to remember. For me, I remembered my grandfather and nan (RAF) and my best mate, my old dad and a grandfather and great-grandfather who I never met, all members of the Royal Artillery.
Warm memories of loved ones no longer with us, The Last Post was played and broke the silence.
As wreaths were carefully placed, I watched the shadows cast by the low autumn sun fall across the hero’s names etched on the war memorial. And then something rather extraordinary happened, something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
A group of proud veterans started singing "Sussex By The Sea", a patriotic song written in 1907 by William Ward-Higgs, often considered to be the unofficial county anthem of Sussex. I later found out they were from the Royal Sussex Regiment Association and where being lead by 81-year-old John White. Everyone listened, some even joined in and afterwards the sound of applause filled the air. A proud moment during a moving service, unique to Sussex and a fitting tribute for a day when Chichester, and the UK, fell silent to remember. Let us all never forget.
Written by Scott Ramsey, Founder of Nothhelm.com
Nothhelm Picture Story - The Remembrance Sunday Parade And Service In Chichester, West Sussex.