New Milton Remembers
Remembrance Sunday 11 November 2018
Community spirit in New Milton knew no bounds on Remembrance Sunday, as hundreds of residents came together to commemorate this 100th Armistice Anniversary Remembrance, joining the enormous parade led by the Meridian Corps of Drums marching band, with over 50 wreaths being laid at the War Memorial in a united act of remembrance.
The Town Clerk, Graham Flexman, invited representatives from local businesses, charity groups, community groups, schools, uniformed services and the young people of the town to lay their wreaths at the War Memorial following the Last Post and recitation of Exhortation by Brig. Paul Jepson, President of the New Milton Royal British Legion, followed by Reveille being sounded, and the Kohima Epitaph that was read out by Col. Ron Back, Chairman of the New Milton Royal British Legion.
Among the many wreath-layers, New Forest Mencap laid a special tribute to honour the fallen, being a hand-made poppy designed and created by their Gateway members.
Arrangements started last year for this very special Remembrance Sunday Ceremony, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Armistice, and the working group were keen to include as many young people and members of the community as possible. As in previous years, the younger generation were keen to participate, come rain or shine.
During the first world-war, 83 New Miltonians lost their lives and their names are inscribed on the War Memorial on the Recreation Ground. Particular emphasis was given to their sacrifice, with their names and ages being shared on the commemorative copy of the Order of Service.
New Milton Town Clerk, Graham Flexman, said at the War Memorial,
“Of the 83 local servicemen who lost their lives in World War One, three died in November 1918. Private Bill Whitcher on 8 November 1918 in a German POW Camp, Sgt Harry Hayward in action in France on 9 November 1918, and Capt Walter Clinton who died of pleurisy and pneumonia on 22 November 1918 having escaped a POW Camp on 4 October.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.”
New Milton Memorial Hall hosted the Remembrance Service, being full to capacity with standing room only for some of the congregation. The Jubilee Singers invited the congregation to join in with a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory, and students from Ballard School and Durlston Court School gave outstanding presentations on The Spring Offensive and the Last Hundred Days.
It was a memorable morning of remembrance and reflection from all the community, equally matched in the afternoon when the Mayor laid a wreath at the Indian Memorial Obelisk in Barton on Sea that was built to remember the Indian troops who had convalesced there during the first world-war. Again, the local community gave its wholehearted support, despite the blustery wind coming in off the clifftop.
As if the day’s Remembrance activities were not enough, the evening event Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute, was an outstanding success with residents in their thousands joining the Parade and Beacon-lighting ceremony on the clifftop. New Milton Lions Group arranged the event as part of the Nation’s commemorations that saw over 1,000 beacons across Britain being lit at 7pm as symbols of peace.
New Milton Town Mayor, Cllr David Rice-Mundy said
“This has been a truly memorable day for the residents of New Milton and I am in awe of all the arrangements undertaken by our wonderful community to commemorate this 100th anniversary occasion. The town has turned out to honour all those who fought and died through the horrors of war and particularly World War One, it has been emotional and poignant for all of us.”
Further details from
New Milton Town Council tel 01425 619120