• Remembering the fallen: When?

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    British Gazette Readers may well have felt that the subject of Sunday’s article and Tuesday’s article should have focused on Our Glorious Dead – the fallen.

    In previous years the British Gazette has “covered” this, but this year the omission was deliberate for we feel that the time has come for a decision to be made as to when the fallen should be remembered.

    A Mr Percy FitzPatrick wrote to King George V requesting that the country adopt a two minute silence on the first anniversary of Armistice Day. The King accepted his request and the first two minute silence took place on November the 11th 1919. Not surprisingly, it proved overwhelmingly popular and occurred each year thereafter, except during World War Two.

    Armistice Day however proved a major headache for the power stations that had great difficulties in the sudden reduction in load. As a result, the first Remembrance Sunday after the Second World War in 1946 included the two minute silence.

    Over the years it was shortened to a one minute silence until 1995 when on the 8th May when it was the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). Since then the two minute silence has been observed each November the 11th – the eleventh hour and the eleventh day of the eleventh month as well as the observation on Remembrance Sunday.

    In the 1970s and the 1980s certain politicians and commentators raised the question as to whether the observance should continue at all.

    The British Gazette suggests the following:

    The official remembrance should be moved back to Armistice Day itself. This would be in effect a confirmation of what has in the most part has happened for unfortunately Church attendance has fallen dramatically since the inter war period.

    Remembrance Sunday would still be observed but the official ceremony and march past should be on Armistice Day.

    • In the villages in Cornwall, the Remembrance Parade is usually organised by the BRITISH LEGION whereby it raises funds by selling wreaths and poppies and in our village up until this year we have had a “Poppy Cafe” and many events organised by the willing to raise funds. Unfortunately last year, directly after Remembrance Day, our BRITISH LEGION, MULLION, CORNWALL ceased to exist because they could not find enough people to organise a Committee. The LEGION HALL has been up for sale ever since. Many years ago my mother, PHYLLIS KELLOW initiated the formation of a Womens’ Section of the BRITISH LEGION, which is in fact still running. However, it does appear to have been taken over by some very undesirable people. When the Chairman of UKIP tried to arrange our participation, he was told by a PARISH COUNCILLOR, that we could not take part,in the ceremony, but could lay a wreath, but that it should not say UKIP on it. Our Chairman, Stuart Guppy, did lay our wreath, unannounced. After he left, however, our wreath was dessicrated and the centre ripped out. I would, therefore, agree with those who wish this ceremony didn’t happen at all, as here in particular, it has been taken over by the wrong people to carry the mantel of the respected organisations of the past

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