A war to end all wars - We Will Remember Them 1914 - 1918

A war to end all wars - We Will Remember Them 1914 - 1918The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the UK, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised at Chinnor as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. It commemorates 31 local servicemen who died during the First World War. It was built within an existing village pound seen on the Ordnance Survey map of 1881, which was adapted for use as an enclosure for the war memorial as seen on the later map of 1937.

Chinnor War Memorial

Chinnor War Memorial

To the sound of the Chinnor Silver Band, Chinnor residents march proudly along the Lower Road turning right up the High Street.  Pausing for a minute outside of the Reading room to honour those associated with the building and who had died during the wars.  Its remembrance Sunday, a day when Chinnor remembers.  They move forward and gather round the Chinnor war memorial.  Here a short service is held, lead by the Rector, and the familiar words of hymns are sung.  In or out of tune, but does it matter! No. We are remembering and honouring those fallen.

Wreaths are laid, lead by the Chairman of Chinnor Parish Council, followed by the Chair of the Chinnor British Legion. Services, and many village organisations pay their tributes.

At 11am, St Andrew's church bell tolls and the crowd falls silent. A Role of Honour is always read out, some whole families lost their menfolk. Closing with our National Anthem, and residents marching away up to the church for dismiss or to attend the full Church service, once again Chinnor has honoured her dead.

Chinnor's branch of The Royal British Legion works quietly, through the year in the background but comes extremely visible during the fortnight leading up to Remembrance Sunday. An army of volunteers are out selling poppies together with pin badges, and a number of small items for children. Many local shops and schools also participate in selling poppies.  The Chinnor British Legion are grateful for their support as every penny counts.  

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Remembering the residents of Chinnor lost

Since 1923 the Royal British Legion has hosted the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall which is a commemorative event dedicated to all those who have served and sacrificed.

In 1928, King George V and Queen Mary attended the Festival, with both remarking on the event in their diaries:
The King wrote: “At 9.0 May & I were present at the Remembrance Festival at the Albert Hall for the British Legion. The place was crammed & they sang all the war songs and & also some hymns, the singing very fine, & the whole thing was most impressive & dignified, with Guards hands & organ.”

Queen Mary recorded that the Festival “was most beautiful & uplifting.”