Weekly Community Roundup – 13th November 2020

Operation Christmas Child

The team at Ian Brown have once again made up Christmas boxes for the Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child Appeal. Shoe boxes filled with items for girls and boys between the ages of 1-14 years who need them, bringing hope and joy to underprivileged children all around the world. Gifts include socks, small toys, books, and stickers.

To find out more about Operation Christmas Child visit https://www.samaritans.org/

100 years ago: London John Nodes Funeral Services role in bringing back the Unknown Warrior from France

As the nation remembers those lost in war on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, John Nodes Funeral Service of north London has more reason than most to remember the events of 100 years ago.

On 10 November 1920, Kirtley Nodes, the fourth generation of his family to work in the funeral profession, accompanied the casket carrying the Unknown Warrior back from the First World War battlefields.

In the last week of October 1920, the British Undertakers Association was asked by the Government to make the casket for the Unknown Warrior to be transported from France and buried in Westminster Abbey.

The National President of the Association at the time was H Kirtley Nodes, whose father, John Nodes, had buried Prince Louis Napoleon.

Kirtley Nodes proposed that the Association, forerunner of the National Association of Funeral Directors, should gift the casket to the nation. Members were asked to contribute one shilling (5p) per head to the appeal.

It was Army Chaplain, Rev David Railton, who suggested to the Dean of Westminster that an unidentified fallen soldier be transported from Flanders.

The soldier represented all those who died on the First World War battlefields, whose bodies were never identified, providing a focus for their grieving families. This symbolic event captured the hearts and minds of the nation.

The casket and ironwork were completed in just over a week and transported to Westminster Abbey in John Nodes’ Rolls Royce hearse to remain overnight before being driven to Charing Cross station for loading onto the train.

Kirtley Nodes and John Sowerbutts, Secretary of the London Centre of the Association, had the honour of escorting the casket to Boulogne.

On Tuesday 9 November, they were driven to the chapel of the old chateau in Boulogne. The body of the Unknown Warrior was brought there in a battle-scarred military ambulance covered with a Union flag.

More than one million people came to pay their respects to the soldier who represented all the sons and husbands lost on the battlefields of Northern Europe. During the interment ceremony in Westminster Abbey on 11 November 1920, King George V placed a wreath of red roses and bay leaves on the coffin.

Wave of Light

The 15th October is recognised around the world as Pregnancy and Child Loss Remembrance Day and E Sargeant & Son supported the Vishaal Foundation in holding their annual Wave of Light Service in Herschel Park.

Due to coronavirus restrictions on crowds one large floating flower display was assembled by local florist Anne Harris.

The display was built onto polystyrene floats and was lit in the middle by one large candle. Families were invited to send messages to the Vishaal Foundation. Regional Support Manager Mark Clements who works very closely with the foundation transposed the messages onto flower cards which were then attached to the flower display, 46 cards in total.

At 7pm local time on 15 October each year families around the world observe the global ‘Wave of Light’ and leave it burning for at least one hour. At 7pm, the candle was lit, and the flower display floated out onto the lake in Herschel Park. Slough Borough Council had kindly prepared the area and one of their managers stood in the lake to make sure the flower display remained steady.

The event was live streamed by the Vishaal Foundation and many still photos were taken. After a respectful period of time the display was drawn to the bank. The following day Mark Clements laid the flower display, complete with its cards, at the baby memorial at Slough Cemetery. The Vishaal Foundation also has a plaque there. This gave families an opportunity to visit the display. It remained there for six days before the cards were collected.

Toiletries for Hospital

After reaching out to the local hospital charity John Blenkiron & Sons in Barnard Castle were able to establish that they needed donations of toiletries so were quick to provide a box full for those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Remembrance Day Walk 2020

Funeral Arranger Sarah, Funeral Service Operative Jodi, and Funeral Director Damian all walked 11 miles at 11am on the 11th November to raise money for the Royal British Legion. The walk incorporated six local churches where wreaths were laid and finished at the Warminster Cenotaph.

Like so many other things, our fundraising efforts have had to adapt due to Covid-19 but the team were determined to mark the day in their own unique way and raise much-needed funds for the Royal British Legion which provides financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.

So far fundraising has reached £650.

Lest We Forget

WH Putnam – Harrow

W H Putnam Funeral Directors in Harrow have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

James Hawes & Goodchild- Hackney

James Hawes and Goodchild Funeral Directors in Hackney have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Ian Brown

Ian Brown Funeral Director has decorated it’s windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the team felt that it was vital Remembrance didn’t go by without some form of acknowledgment.

HAVEN – Hillingdon

HAVEN Funeral Services in Hackney have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

MM Broad

MM Broad & Son Funeral Directors have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Hemming & Peace – Alcester

Hemming & Peace Funeral Services in Alcester have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Wreaths were also laid at the local Cenotaph by Funeral Arranger Melissa Harbidge on behalf of Hemming & Peace Funeral Services and Nigel Peace on behalf of the 41 Club.

Pinks

Pinks Funeral Directors have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Funeral Arranger Karen Rattigan laid a wreath at the Caterham Barracks Memorial in Caterham. .

M L Williams

ML Williams Funeral Directors have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

James Dykes

James Dykes Funeral Service have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Quinns

Quinns Funeral Directors West Kirby have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

JH Way

J H Way Funeral Directors have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Funeral Arranger Sanya Pasquini said: “This time of year we start to reflect on the hard work and dedication of our soldiers. With the help of some very artistic children from Westcliff Primary School in Dawlish we created a very eye-catching display. The children love coming past and looking at their amazing artwork.”

Chambers & Brighty

Chambers & Brighty Funeral Directors created an internal display to show their support for the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Douglas Mercer

Douglas Mercer & Son Funeral Directors have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

William H Painter

William H Painter Funeral Directors have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

TW Boorman

TW Boorman Funeral Directors have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Banfield & Pomphrey

Banfield & Pomphrey Funeral Directors have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.

Roy Quinton

Roy Quinton Funeral Directors Walsall and Tettenhall Wood funeral homes have decorated their windows in support of the Royal British Legion and to honour both fallen and serving members of the Armed Forces community.