Hoping for better in four years

I have just returned from Warwick’s Remembrance Sunday parade. What a fiasco.

Hundreds of people turned out to observe the two-minute silence at the Church Street War Memorial in Warwick and watch a parade that included the British Legion, local youth organisations, and a small military contingent, presumably from the Mercian Regiment into which our own Warwickshire Regiment has been absorbed. The pavements around the entrance to St Mary’s Church and all down Church Street were packed with people come to participate in this special ceremony.

Unfortunately, something went wrong with the timings. The exodus of local dignitaries from the church following the official service did not start until after 10.45am and they were still not all assembled around the war memorial when the two minutes silence should have started. There was no audible ‘live’ Last Post at the end of the silence, though there did appear to be a recording of this faintly emitting from the church throughout the silence; I counted it playing through twice, then it ceased. At the end of the silence there was a hiatus, when no one seemed to know what was happening; the parade could not start because they were waiting for local youngsters from other churches to arrive. Couldn’t the respective services have been co-ordinated better?

Eventually at almost 10.20am the parade started and was greeted with universal enthusiasm. The Warwick Community Band provided a selection of well-known, stirring military marches to set them on their way, and I have to commend the band for their valuable contribution to the proceedings.

Unfortunately, the lateness of the silence and the absence of a live ‘Last Post’ took away the significance of the event for us, very disappointing in this special remembrance year. Let’s hope they manage better in four year’s time. Is it worth holding our breath?

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