As is usual, this began with a procession through the town at 10 o’clock, from The Royal British Legion on Bargates, down the High Street and past Saxon Square, to the Memorial Garden at The Priory Church. Wreaths were laid and there was then a service inside the church, with a two-minute silence at 11 o’clock.
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Instead of one of his familiar poems, here is an extract from a letter written by Wilfred Owen to his mother in 1917. He had taken command of Number 3 Platoon, A Company. the letter describes factually an early experience of leading his men:
I can see no excuse for deceiving you about these last four days. I have suffered seventh hell. – I have not been at the front. – I have been in front of it. – I held an advanced post, that is, a “dug-out” in the middle of No Man’s Land. We had a march of three miles over shelled road, then nearly three along a flooded trench. After that we came to where the trenches had been blown flat out and had to go over the top. It was of course dark, too dark, and the ground was not mud, not sloppy mud, but an octopus of sucking clay, three, four, and five feet deep, relieved only by craters full of water …”
One of our greatest war poets, tragically he was shot and killed on 4th November 1918, exactly a week before the Armistice.