The Dedication of the Garden of Remembrance at Littleport Cemetery 15 May 2021

In 2018 Littleport Branch of The Royal British Legion wanted to make a Garden of Remembrance. Mr McGowen persuaded Littleport Parish Council to donate a plot of land at the entrance to the cemetery. Mr Jimmy Johnstone offered to make a sculpture befitting to the garden and along with his colleague Tony constructed the garden. Mr Goodearl and his wife Penny painted the boulders to represent the current Armed Forces.
The Venerable David Fleming dedicated this Memorial Garden to the glory of God and the memory of all whose lives are honoured in our community.
Marking the Centenary of the Royal British Legion – 15 May 2021
Our Founding History. On Sunday 15 May 1921, a wet and dreary day, a small number of ex-Servicemen walked to the Cenotaph war memorial in London’s Whitehall. As Big Ben struck nine, four men representing societies that for three years had been rivals, each laid a wreath at the base of the memorial. On those wreaths were the badges of the four organisations that would officially amalgamate to form the British Legion. This moment was the starting gun for the Royal British Legion we know today. By Christmas of 1921 the ranks of our organisation had swelled to include 2,500 branches across the country, as well as overseas. These were the groups around which the armed forces community rallied after the First World War. They made change happen, fundraised during the Poppy Appeal, provided welfare locally and became the foundations for what has become the UK’s largest Armed Forces charity. One hundred years later we are proud to still have 2,500 branches, some with a history reaching back to 1921 as is the case of our own Littleport Branch which celebrates its own centenary on 21 September and others established in the last decade. To mark the moment of our founding, we recreated the activity of that day. Mr Jimmy Johnstone laid a wreath at the Remembrance garden at 0900 hours on Saturday 15th May on behalf of the Littleport Branch of the Royal British Legion. Mr Andy Swift, parade marshal and Mr Paul Page, standard bearer, paid homage with The Littleport RBL standard; Mr Martin Goodearl said the Exhortation and the Kohima. Everyone stood for the two minute silence.
The Venerable David Fleming gave thanks for the one hundred years service of the Royal British Legion and prayed for its continuing work.
The Blessing of the Gravestone of Cpl Charles Pettit Saturday 15 May 2021 Mr Gerry Sutcliffe read out a brief statement of the life of Cpl Pettit who died of his wounds from World War One.
It was only while Mr McGowen was researching the names of casualties of WW1 on the War Memorial that he discovered why the Commonwealth War Graves Commission had not been able to give Cpl Pettit a headstone. He made further inquiries and found evidence which he submitted to CWGC to enable them to install his gravestone.
Mr Bruce Frost was able to find a few of his distant relatives who attended the service. Mrs Janice Butcher and Mr Graham Butcher watched Mrs Debra Jordan and Mrs Tracey Lee lay a wreath on Cpl Pettit’s grave. Again homage was paid.
The Venerable David Fleming gave the Blessing.
Mr Goodearl thanked everyone for coming. Maggie McGowen,
Littleport RBL Branch Secretary and music director

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