VISIT TO YPRES: Last weekend seventeen local people visited Ypres in Belgium to walk the battlefields where some of our village men died in the Great War. It was at the same time sobering and uplifting as our guide Steve Roberts described the course of the fighting around that embattled town and told us of individual and collective deeds of heroism and sacrifice. We visited the graves of Lt George Sogno, 2nd Lieutenant Percival Turner, the Reverend Cecil Langdon, Private Charles Evenden, Private Frank Hearn, Private Alfred Hobden, Private Charlie Smith and Lance Corporal Leonard Jarvis and left crosses on each one from the village. We also went to the ceremony at the Menin Gate on Sunday evening and laid a wreath in memory of all our dead, including Edward Vine, whose name is carved on the Menin Gate as one of those who have no known grave. It’s impossible to pick out one particular moment to highlight because there were so many. For me, I shall remember the peace and calm of Talbot House, where thousands of men rested before returning to the din and dirt of battle; the Last Post, sounded, (as it is nightly) at the Menin Gate as hundreds of visitors bowed their heads in silence; the beauty of St George’s Chapel, built by the townspeople of Ypres to commemorate the British dead; the dugout used as a medical centre where Dr John McCrae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields which speaks volumes in heartfelt words; and the rows of headstones, thousands upon thousands, row upon row, commemorating the slaughter of young men in the Great War. Please God, never again.

STILL BLUE: I have had more comment about my Post Office rant of last week than I think I have ever had about something written in the local news column. It’s somewhat consoling that there are others sharing my rant, but as far as I know, ranting is getting us nowhere. Should we bombard our MP(s)? I remember being told that when the postbag gets big enough about a particular subject, MPs get alarmed and action takes place. Any other ideas?

SERVICES: This weekend’s Sunday services will both be at All Saints’and will take place at 8am (Holy Communion) and 10am (Parish Matins).

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