AMWA Christmas Trek - Long Distance Trek - Salisbury - 28th & 29th December 2021
Words from AMWA website:
The trek took place at Larkhill Camp, near Amesbury by kind permission of the Ministry of Defence.
Gently undulating over the Salisbury Plains, there was a mixture of grassy trails over exposed areas, compacted mud trails through and around wooded areas, some stony areas with main vehicle transit routes consisting of hard compacted trails.
The weather played a massive part in this years event. Firstly the temperatures were unusually high for the time of year. These dogs love cold weather, but do suffer in the warmer weather. One word used for the event be classed as character building, The event started in the dark and competitors were setting off into Horizontal rain and sleet into gale force gusts. The tracks soon became small streams of water collecting into large flooded areas.
The organisers John Binding, Steve Whitfield and their team of volunteers, put on a very good event which was well supported, as in other years. It was however not run last year due to the Covid restrictions.
Remembrance Parade - Remembrance Sunday - 14.11.21
These photographs were taken in the morning, at the City of Bath's War Memorial, Royal Victoria Park.
This was one of the largest crowds seen at the annual Memorial service, which took place at the War Memorial, situated by the gates to the Royal Victoria Park.
The crowds seem to be on the increase each year at this service, with people standing in every available vantage point, despite there being other services at the same time, at all the other Memorials across the Country.
The Parade Commander, Captain Jonathon Ledgister thanked all those attending and escorted the Mayor of Bath Councillor June Player around the assembled parade.
The Mayor of Bath Councillor June Player, laid a wreath of poppies along with representatives from the Royal British Legion, Baths MP Wera Hobhouse and other organisations and the Church, who were all in attendance.
Bath Spa Band played the Last Post, followed by a two-minute silence, and a wreath of poppies was also laid at the memorial by Major Roger Evans from the Royal British Legion.
Each year in the afternoon, Downside School band of Somerset Bagpipers, lead the Bath Remembrance Day Parade through the city, followed by War Veterans and representatives from the Military and other groups.
Downside’s Somerset Bagpipers played on three occasions to entertain the crowds, twice outside the Guildhall with a counter march. They also played in the Abbey Church yard when setting up as a rehearsal.
Haycombe Cemetery & Crematorium, Service of Remembrance - 11.11.21
The event, organised by B&NES Council’s Bereavement Services Team, took place between the Cross of Sacrifice and the Blitz graves.
The service as always, was well attended and is always held at the Haycombe War Memorial on the 11th November.
The service was led by The Reverend Canon Richard Hunt. BANES Chair of the Council - Councillor Lisa O'Brien and Councillors Paul Crossley and Dine Romero laid wreaths. Other Councillors, Veterans and Undertakers also laid wreaths.
Veterans and British Legion members always attend, along with relatives of those who perished in the conflicts and the local residents.
The Veteran Service Dog Abi, also attended the service complete with her medal.
A snippet of Abi’s history:-
Abi is a cocker spaniel and was 10 years old last March. Abi retired in 2019 after 9 yrs service, born and bred at Melton Mowbray where she passed out as a vehicle search dog, searching for arms explosives, ammunition and bomb making equipment. Abi then spent her career based in North Luffenham, part of the military working dog regiment and served in Afghanistan.
Abi now lives with her Nan and Grandad in Bristol enjoying retirement, whilst her Mum still serves as a dog handler in the British Army.
The Last Post was played. The "Last Post" which is a bugle call used at British or Commonwealth military funerals and ceremonies commemorating those who have been killed in war. The Last Post symbolises the duty of the dead is over and they can rest in peace. "The Rouse" is commonly played following "Last Post".
I always attend this Service to support the Somerset Light Infantry Veterans.
My photographs show how one family suffered a severe loss of five of its family members.
For information, extract from Mr Kilminster’s previous press report:
Local historian Chris Kilminster, who lost five family members, raised more than £15,000 to fund the memorial on the site of an air raid shelter hit by the bomb on 26 April 1942.
Mr Kilminster said he was "so grateful" to people who supported his campaign.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Kilminster said his memorial was for the 417 people who died in the Bath Blitz.
It is believed German bombers were intending to hit a nearby railway junction or gas works with the 500kg (1,100lb) bomb but fell short.
Haycombe Cemetary is also the final resting place of most of the 417 civilians that were killed in the Baedeker bombing raids in April 1942.
Bath was subject to numerous air raid warnings, as raiders flew overhead on their way to Bristol, but none were dropped on the town itself. This changed in April 1942 with the start of the Baedeker Blitz.
The Baedeker Raids of 1942
The Baedeker Raids or Baedeker Bombings took place between April and June 1942. The Baedeker bombing raids on old historic English cities were named after the Baedeker travel guidebooks that the Germans used to identify their targets, which were three-starred, i.e. worth visiting, old English cities.
Over the weekend of 25 - 27 April 1942, Bath suffered three raids, from 80 Luftwaffe aircraft which took off from Nazi occupied northern France.
As the city sirens wailed, few citizens took cover, even when the first pathfinder flares fell, the people of Bath still believed the attack was destined for nearby Bristol. During the previous four months Bristol had been hit almost every night, so the people of Bath did not expect the bombs to fall on them.
The first raid struck just before 11 pm on the Saturday night and lasted until 1 am. The German aircraft then returned to France, refuelled, rearmed and returned at 4.35 am. Bath was still on fire from the first raid, making it easier for the German bombers to pick out their targets. The third raid, which only lasted two hours but caused extensive damage, commenced in the early hours of Monday morning. The bombers flew low to drop their high explosives and incendiaries and then returned to rake the streets with machine-gun fire.
417 people were killed, another 1,000 injured. Over 19,000 buildings were affected, of which 1,100 were seriously damaged or destroyed, including 218 of architectural or historic interest. Houses in the Royal Crescent, Circus and Paragon were destroyed and the Assembly Rooms were burnt out. A 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) high explosive bomb landed on the south side of Queen Square, resulting in houses on the south side being damaged. The Francis Hotel lost 24 metres (79 ft) of its hotel frontage, and most of the buildings on the square suffered some level of shrapnel damage. Casualties on the Square were low considering the devastation, with the majority of hotel guests and staff having taken shelter in the hotel's basement.
Imber Church was open for viewing and refreshments from 10:00 to 18:00. Refreshments were also available at Caspers Cafe on Platform 1 of Warminster Station and at the village halls in Chitterne and Tilshead. Refreshments at Chitterne Village hall sampled and excellent, even taking card payments!
In addition, cream teas were served in the Old School House next to Market Lavington Church between Midday and 5pm;
Carter's Steam Fair, Bath - 07.08.21 to 22.08.21
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