10 November – Philip Mileham, All Saints’, Steep


In 2021 we are marking 100 years since our nation’s collective Remembrance traditions were first brought together following the tumultuous experience of the First World War. The two-minute silence, Armistice Day, the service for the Unknown Warrior, the march past at the Cenotaph and the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal to support those in need from the Armed Forces Community, are all traditions that millions of people, year on year, generation to generation, continue to take part in.

The simple poppy is our nation’s personal and collective symbol that acknowledges remembrance for fallen Service personnel. It recalls their sacrifice and that of their families, loved ones, the communities of Britain, the Commonwealth and beyond that gave so much in the defence of democratic freedoms and a way of life of shared ideals. In this remembrance we also pay tribute to the innocent victims of conflict and terrorism together with the selfless contribution of our emergency services.

The progress of the world, as we know it, has been shaped by past conflicts and operations, large and small. Regardless of scale, worth or futility, each has witnessed sacrifice and seen the qualities of courage, selflessness, forbearance and collective enterprise that are the essence of service. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

This time of year provides us a focused opportunity to reflect and unite across all faiths, cultures and backgrounds to remember, to pledge ourselves to care for one another and to work together with commitment and hope for a better world as we, like our fore bears, progress to face our challenges and our own unknowns.

‘The torch; be yours to hold it high’ In Flanders Fields: John McCrae.