HUNDREDS of people attended a special civic ceremony yesterday to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.
A group of veterans were supported by the Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Chris Mayne, Reverend Dr Ian Terry, team rector of Bournemouth, and members of the public as they reflected on the anniversary during the service.
It was held at the Waterfronts Event Arena, by Bournemouth Pier Approach, and the sun shone as hymns were sung, when silence fell following the playing of The Last Post and during a poetry reading by Bournemouth’s Poet Laureate, James Manlow.
Cllr Mayne said: “We gathered to commemorate the start of World War One, 100 years ago to the day, and to remember all those who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War until peace returned in 1918.
“It is our duty to remember and honour all those who died or who were injured during that period.”
Cllr Mayne went on to say that an event had been organised to take place yesterday evening called Lights Out, at the War Memorial in Bournemouth Gardens, from 10pm to 11pm.
Rev Dr Ian Terry said: “We gathered to remember all those from the borough of Bournemouth who fought in the tragic but courageous events in the First World War.
“We remember those who were killed in action or by disease, the bereaved, the lost and the families which were shattered.
“We also remember the wounded, maimed and injured and those who held in silence unspeakable memories of war.”
BOVINGTON Tank Museum held a memorial service and battle re-enactments to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the First World War.
Hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the museum to watch the demonstrations and pay their respects to the fallen heroes 100 years after war was declared – and 1.1 million poppy petals were scattered in recognition of the same number of Allied Forces lives that were lost during the conflict.
The Lord Lieutenant for Dorset, Angus Campbell, read out the Ode of Remembrance speech before the last post and the two minutes silence.
Mr Campbell said: “The service was poignant and the poppy release was quite something. I think it’s very important to embark on four years of commemorations, starting today, to recognise what happened”
“We can never, ever forget what people did. They were hugely courageous and we should commemorate that.”
With a voiceover providing a running commentary, crowds were treated to an air display by the seven aircraft from the Great War Air Display team, who gave a demonstration on one of the historic air battles that helped define the war.
Following the air battle, the museum revealed its replica Mark IV tank and gave a demonstration on how the Allied soldiers used the tank in their operations during trench warfare.
The memorial service then started, with the introduction of the Royal British Legion and the Queen’s Lord Lieutenant for Dorset, Angus Campbell. Mr Campbell read out the Ode of Remembrance Speech, which was followed by the Last Post and two minutes silence.
John Ridout, standard bearer for Puddletown, Sam Trott, standard bearer for Beaminster and Norman Pearce, standard bearer for Christchurch, all took part in the service.
Mr Ridout said: “It was a real honour and privilege to be a part of it.”