Armistice and Remembrance Day 2010. Version Français
The exchange of delegates for Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday is now well established. This year the Armistice Day visit to Longpré came before the Remembrance Day service in Eastry.
Remembrance Sunday always falls on the second Sunday in November.
Future dates are:-
13 November 2011
11 November 2012
10 November 2013
The trip to France is always on the 11th November.
The usual early start saw ten slightly sleepy members of the Twinning Association gather at 5am to travel in two cars to Longpré. We were glad we'd booked Eurotunnel as the weather was very wild and windy. The crossing and drive to Longpré went well but I'd missed a text message from Jean-Marc inviting us all for breakfast at his house and so failed to turn up, he had coffee and croissants to last him a week!
This year also saw 4 members of The Royal British Legion join us in Longpré, they had travelled over the day before and stayed in Abbeville to avoid the early start, they met us outside the town hall and we all met up on time. It was a cold, wet, windy day so the offer of coffee from Paulette and René in the hotel de ville was gratefully received. The ceremonies started with the visit to the British cemetery one kilometre from the centre of the village, where wreaths were laid and this year we had managed to secure the service of John Griffiths to play the Last Post and Reveille, a poignant addition to the ceremony. Maurice Corey, René Cailleux and Graham Lane placed wreaths on behalf of the RBL, Longpré and Eastry Twinning respectively.
We reconvened at the town hall before the church service and then visited the two memorials in the village, wreaths were laid and speeches made and John was asked to play the Last Post at the first of the memorials, the fallen of the First World War. The wind was so strong at this point that the standard bearers were having to brace themselves to avoid being blown away!
The procession made its way to the Monument to the memory of 5th and 6th June 1940 where further wreaths were placed. Finally, fighting the wind and rain we made our way back to the hotel de ville for a reception of drinks and snacks, and a chance to warm up and dry off a bit.
From the town hall we made our way to Le Restaurant du Canard in the nearby village of Hengest
The restaurant was very nearly full by the time we arrived, it is the venue used by four of the local villages and I estimated that there must be well over 100 people there, quite a task to serve this many with a six course meal as well as aperitifs, wine, and then liqueur and coffee.
As with previous years a very accomplished accordionist played for us (there is something very French about the sound of an accordion!) which got people dancing on the very first tune. All too soon the afternoon finished and we had to depart, but we had, yet again, been made to feel very welcome and been very well entertained. On Sunday it would be our turn to host and we hoped it would go as well. Restaurant du Canard taken in summer
The standard bearers fight the wind to lower the flags.
Sunday 14th November
Although the wind of Thursday had abated it was still a grey and miserable morning to welcome the party of 9 from Longpré. We convened at a little after 10:30. but due to some building work at the main entrance to the church, the normal parade did not take place. The whole congregation gathered around the recently cleaned war memorial and under the guidance of Tex Rickard the various village groups and organisations were invited forward to place their wreaths, René Cailleux the mayor of Longpré placed their tribute. Once the names of the fallen had been read aloud and the 2 minutes silence observed we entered the church in single file through the small southern door for the service.
On leaving the church the weather had deteriorated further so everyone made a quick dash for the 5 Bells where we had reserved 25 places for a traditional Sunday carvery. The landlady Mary had kindly provided a selection of 'nibbles' for us while we ordered drinks and placed our orders for food. The meal was enjoyed and appreciated by everyone and we would like to thank Mary and her staff for the effort they had put in to make the lunch a success.
Thanks to a suggestion by Marion and supported by the kind offer of their home as a venue by Christine and Robert, it was agreed that when we had finished our main course at the pub we would adjourn to their house for desert, mulled cider, wine, port, and a cheese board. The deserts were made by members of the Eastry Twinning committee so thanks to everyone who contributed the seven different deserts on offer.
The time passed much too quickly and Jean Marc had to gather his group together to leave in time for the ferry. We waved them goodbye and then reconvened for one last helping of desert, a glass of port and a chat about how the day had gone, everyone agreed that it had gone well. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a success.
The visitors from Longpré were:- Jean Marc VERMOEREN, René and Paulette CAILLEUX, Yvelaine and Jean-Marie SUROVIEK, Claudette and Michel SRODESKI, Annie and Michel BONNEVAL (the standard bearer).