8th November 2016 –
Members of the Royal British Legion were joined by military personnel, town councillors, army cadets, scouts, and members of the public in Blandford Cemetery on Sunday morning, the start of Remembrance Week, in paying tribute to more than 50 servicemen and women buried and remembered in the cemetery in Salisbury Road.
A Remembrance service was led by Blandford Rector the Rev Jonathan Triffitt who was accompanied by Blandford Royal British Legion chairman David Jardine and president Gyan Tamang, and The Last Post and Reveille were sounded by trumpeter Geordie Thompson as standards were lowered and raised by the Legion standard bearers.
Following the service, posies donated by Blandford florists Floribunda were laid on each of the nearly 70 graves which are maintained by Blandford Town Council with the assistance of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The majority of the graves are laid out in rows at the top of the cemetery reminiscent of the much larger war cemeteries to be found across Europe, and the names record the deaths of people sometimes from far afield, including those serving with the Royal Naval Division based at Blandford Camp and a number of German servicemen.
But several are located individually amongst the rest of the graves in the cemetery, indicating their local family connection.
As part of the Living Memory project ‘100 days of the Somme’ and under the banner of “Bringing the CWGC war graves to the heart of the people and the heart of the town”, photographs of all the graves, from both World War I and World War II and more recent conflicts, will be displayed in the Corn Exchange for the public to view over the Remembrance weekend.
Following the service, the gathering moved to the war memorial between the two chapels at the entrance to the cemetery, and a wreath was laid by Mayor of Blandford Jackie Stayt and Legion chairman David Jardine, who presented Certificates of Appreciation for their support to the Poppy Appeal to Mrs Stayt and to Councillor Vic Fox, chairman of North Dorset District Council, who was also in attendance