In a First World War Centenary Service at St John’s Baptist Church at the weekend the town joined many others throughout the country in recalling events and consequences of ‘the war to end all wars’.
Readings from historical accounts, personal testimony and poetry, and songs, both secular and religious, brought the events leading up to the war and its dreadful cost into the present before a full audience, many of whom were of an age to have had parents, grandparents or relatives who served in the conflict or were directly affected by it.
Representatives of the Wellington Branch of the Royal British Legion laid standards on the altar to the accompaniment of the choir singing ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ whilst waving flags to represent the patriotic fervour which sent recruits from towns such as Wellington off to a war they believed ‘would be over by Christmas’.
At the start of the commemoration St John’s Rector, Revd Tim Treanor, was presented with a Chaplain’s scarf as he becomes Chaplain to the Wellington Branch of The Royal British Legion.
At the end of the Service of Remembrance, members of the congregation were offered candles to light and then extinguish at 11pm on 4 August to mark the time when, 100 years ago, Britain declared war on Germany. This act recalls Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey’s words then: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”