And as anyone who knows me well, that's quite unusual...to everyone who came along, young and old, thank you for taking part in these moving and very special events. Our Great War dead have been honoured by our young people who now know how many people gave up their lives to fight in World War I and in a small way, who those people were.
The Poppy Dedication Ceremonies of the remaining poppies made by our SSFR community were held at the beginning of June in three cemeteries around Southend-on-Sea. We have to thank the school community of Hinguar Primary and Nursery School who joined us with the Mayor and Mayoress at St Andrews in Shoeburyness.
We were welcomed by the impeccably turned out Royal Artillery Association, our stalwart Royal British Legion volunteers, including Gordon Roach, the County Youth Officer, and the most lovely Reverend Louise Williams of St Andrews. It was the wettest of our dedications so the umbrellas, designed by the fabulous Esme Taylor and made by Jon Bottomley and her crew at Figure of Eight, were very useful.
It was very special to see how the children reacted to the ceremonies and how they carefully chose where to place their poppies. Discovering that one of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission markers was for an unknown soldier, one pupil was very worried that his Mum wouldn't know where to find him.
We were honoured to have the Mayor and Mayoress of Southend join us, as well as the Right Honourable James Duddridge. Thanks again for everyone who came to make this an apt and meaningful use of the energy and creativity that went into the Poppy Installation.