With Armistice Day – the occasion that marks the end of World War One – falling on a Saturday, there was a long weekend of events in Swanage, Dorset to remember all those who have died in the line of duty.
Despite the rain, the Remembrance Sunday parade, church service and laying of wreaths at the war memorial took place on Sunday 12th November 2023, but there were also services at the Swanage war memorial on the previous Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, a commemorative event was held for school children under cloudy skies
On Saturday the sun shone for the Armistice Day service
By Remembrance Sunday it rained for much of the afternoon but as usual, lots of people attended the parade and laying of wreaths at the war memorial
School children planted poppy crosses
On Friday 10th November 2023, the local schools including The Swanage School, Swanage, St Mary’s and St Mark’s primary schools and Little Birds preschool all congregated at the war memorial to plant the named crosses with poppies into the flower beds. The preschool children had made their own paper poppy wreaths that they laid on the memorial.
They normally attend the Armistice Day service, which is usually during the school week but not wishing to miss out, a special service was arranged for Friday at 11 am.
School children planted the crosses in rememberance of those who died in war
A paper poppy wreath was laid by one of the children from Little Birds, helped by councillor Mike Bonfield
Armistice service at the war memorial
On Saturday 11th November 2023 there was beautiful weather with bright blue sky for the Armistice Day service at the war memorial on the Swanage Recreation Ground.
It was a short but poignant service with a two minute silence at 11 am and the playing of the Last Post by the bugler, against the background sound of the sea.
Armistice – an important day for the armed forces, past and present
The bugler playing the Last Post
The Armistice Day service included a two minute silence at 11 am
Remembering all those who have died in war
On Sunday 12th November 2023 it was dull and drizzly for Remembrance Sunday.
In Swanage all the events happen in the afternoon. Historically this allowed the service to go ahead in Wareham in the morning and then gave enough time for local dignitaries to travel down to Swanage for the afternoon.
Parading through town – Swanage town mayor Tina Foster, along with the president of the Swanage Royal British Legion John Corben and the MP for Dorset South Richard Drax
The Ringwood Pipe Band plays through the puddles
Representatives of local organisation join the parade followed by the 3 (Harrogate) squadron
Marching through the rain along Kings Road West, heading towards St Mary’s Church
Parade through the town centre
At 2 pm the Remembrance Day parade which included the Ringwood Pipe Band, the 3 (Harrogate) Squadron, RAF Air Cadets, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers, started off from outside The Mowlem and then marched to St Mary’s Church.
The church service at 2.30 pm was followed by the congregation walking up to the war memorial for the laying of the poppy wreaths.
The Remembrance Sunday service at St Mary’s
Swanage town mayor Tina Foster and president of Swanage Royal British Legion John Corben lay wreaths at the war memorial
Veteran of D-Day Clifford Brown (left) watches the wreaths being laid at the war memorial with son Clive
Chair of Swanage Royal British Legion Steve Churchill (left) with team rector of Swanage and Studland Ian Bird (right)
At the Swanage Branch of the Royal British Legion there has been a whole programme of fundraising events over the long weekend.
The Swanage Poppython included a quiz evening on the Thursday, a coffee morning on the Friday and a craft fair at the Legion on Saturday morning, as well as live music in the evenings.
The poppy craft fair was well attended at the Legion in the High Street
Dee Bee sparkles with her bejeweled crustaceans
Eye catching crochet creations
Armistice Day service at Swanage war memorial
Remembrance Sunday parade in Swanage
Remembrance Sunday wreath laying at Swanage war memorial
Donations may be made to the Swanage branch of the RBL via the QR code.
- The Swanage branch of the Royal British Legion is at 150 High Street, Swanage, Dorset BH19 2PA with more details about events on its website