Final Remembrance News Bulletin - Thank You

Many thanks for all your reports and pictures of Remembrance around the Diocese. We are a diverse but united group of churches as the stories demonstrate. Thanks again for proving the blessings of the Diocese in Europe. Now for the final 2 reports from Estonia and France

Annual Remembrance Day Service in Tallinn, by Fr. Gustav Piir (pictures - courtesy British Embassy Tallinn)

The annual Remembrance Day service was held on November 11 at the Tallinn Military Cemetery. A congregation of about 100 gathered at 10.45am by the British war graves along with an honour guard from the Estonian Defence Forces.

The British war graves date from the period of 1916-1920 and survived the Soviet period as they were hidden by the then caretaker of the cemetery, Linda Soomre OBE.  Soomre was in charge of the Tallinn City Centre Cemetery for 35 years. She had made the ground  a maintenance area saving the remains of the British soldiers from being violated. The graves were restored in 1994. 

As part of the events the British Ambassador laid a wreath on her grave in Rahumäe cemetery in Tallinn.



The English-speaking community around Pau was joined at St Andrew’s church by local French people on 12 November for a special commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.

The service was based on the RSCM Young Voices Festival, which puts as much emphasis on thanks for freedom and prayer for peace as remembrance of the sacrifice of so many lives in war. The St Andrew’s choir sang British and French songs from the First World War, Mark Blatchly’s moving setting of Binyon’s poem and Ireland’s Greater love hath no man. The readings reflected the nationalities present, with an especially poignant  Australian poem, The band played Waltzing Matilda,  and French texts as well as the work of familiar English and American poets.

The service was conducted by the Venerable Ian Naylor, Priest-in-charge of St Andrew’s and Archdeacon of France. The church decorations were only made possible by the invaluable assistance of Brenda Vockings, the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeals Adviser for Bordeaux and South West France. When she heard that St Andrew's wanted to do something special to mark the Centenary and wanted to buy a few hundred loose poppies, she immediately contacted her UK supplier, and 2 days later 1000 poppies arrived at the flower lady's  front door. All she wanted in return were pictures of the results which as can be seen more than did justice to her gift .