Plans for the commemoration of the end of World War I are now almost complete. This will of course be the last of four years of national events, marking the centenary of the 1914-18 war. Remembrance services will continue every year in November, but November 11, 2018 is a special opportunity for everyone to mark the terrible sacrifices made by families all over the UK – including all those remembered on the war memorial in Cotton churchyard.
The Parish Council, with invaluable support from many volunteers in the village, has put together a series of events:
A Village Afternoon Tea will take place between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday November 10, preceded between noon and 2pm by an opportunity for residents to bring to the Village Hall any WW1 artefacts which they would like examined by an expert from Gaze’s of Diss - Ed Taxil-Webber, specialist auctioneer and valuer on the period - to give some history and explanation of its significance during the war.
In the Hall will be a display showing the service history of each person named on the War Memorial in the Churchyard. This event – like everything else over the weekend - will be open to all Cotton residents free of charge.
Showing of the film ‘Battle of the Somme’. The film is on loan from the Imperial War Museum, which offers this description of it:
“Tens of thousands of soldiers went 'over the top' at 7.30am on 1 July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Nearly 20,000 British soldiers died that day, which looms large in the collective national memory of the First World War.
“The ferocious offensive drew upon Britain's imperial forces, and was the platform for the bloody debut of civilian volunteers who had besieged British recruitment halls in 1914. Among those who amassed in readiness for battle were two individuals who weren't there to fight, yet they were profoundly influential in shaping our vision of the conflict.
“Cameramen Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell were there to record footage that became the cinematic sensation, Battle of the Somme. This feature film has shaped how we imagine the First World War. It blazed a trail for cinema's subsequent obsession with fictional war movies.”
This film will be shown in the Village Hall at 6.30pm on Saturday November 10 with doors opening at 6pm. The film runs for about 80 minutes so there will a break about half way through. It is felt the film is probably not suitable for anybody under the age of 10 years.
The film will be ticketed to ensure safety and legal compliance in the Hall but free to view. In the event there are more people wishing to view the film than the capacity of the Hall there will be a second showing on Sunday November 11 at 6.30pm.
At 6am on the Sunday 11thNovember at the War Memorialin the Churchyard there will be a playing of the tune ‘The Battle’s o’er’.
This will be played on the bagpipes by Rod Caird and fellow piper Pete Reeves. They will be part of a ceremony being undertaken by bagpipers across the world to commemorate the moment the armistice was signed at Compiegne 100 years ago.
Residents will be in place about 5.45am, the Church bell will be tolled just before 6am when the pipers will march in. They will then give a short verbal presentation of the significance of the event and will then play ‘The Battles O’er’.
After a short silence they will then lead the assembly into the church.
Bacon rolls and hot/cold drinks will be available.
This will be a ticketed event for safety and catering purposes but free for those attending.
NB: The event will take place whilst it is dark, cold and probably wet and muddy – details on the tickets will reflect this.
Remembrance Day Service will be held in the Church at 3pmon Sunday November 11. Everybody is invited to attend. The event will include the laying of wreaths and the reading of the names of the dead at the War Memorial.
Ticketing arrangements: Although all the events will be free to those attending, to keep a track on numbers attending the film show on the Saturday and the bagpiping at the War Memorial on the Sunday will require tickets. These will be printed and numbered; details on how to obtain tickets will be published on the website, Facebook, by email and other means.