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Poignant ceremony crosses generations

All generations were represented at a poignant and moving ceremony in Boston's Memorial Gardens on Thursday to mark the annual opening of the garden of remembrance.

The hushed crowd listened intently as 11-year-old Boston Grammar School pupil Siddhart Anand, read out his prize-winning  poem entitled Remembrance.

He reflected on the tragedy of war, those living left scarred by conflict and the reasons why we should all remember.

Boston Mayor, Cllr Richard Austin, declared the gardens open for this year's remembrance events with the symbolic placing of a tiny wooden cross.

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Boston Mayor, Cllr Richard Austin, places a symbolic cross in the ground at the Memorial Gardens

The event had been organised by Boston and District Branch of the Royal British Legion and was attended by serving members of the armed forces, ex-servicemen and women, the public and children from St George's Preparatory, St Mary's Roman

Catholic and Staniland Primary Schools, Boston High School, Boston Grammar School and uniformed services students from Boston College. Representatives from all schools and the college laid wreaths at the war memorial.

The service was led by branch chaplain, the Rev Michelle Houldershaw who spoke about rejoicing in the freedom safeguarded by those who made sacrifices often many thousands of miles from their homes.

The Act of Homage was led by President of the Boston and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, Michael Houldershaw, followed by the Last Post, the silence and Reveille played by Richard Wray from the Boston Citadel Corps of the Salvation Army.

Cllr Austin said: "It is most important that we remember those who gave their lives or have been  injured in service of our country to preserve our way of life. We must never forget them."

Siddhart recited his poem as children from the school laid their wreaths, some of them made by the children.

The service concluded with a reading from St John's Gospel, the Lord's Prayer and the Kohima Epitaph (When you go home, tell them of us...) recited by George Reid, chairman of Boston and District Branch of the RBL.

All guests, especially the children and the Mayor, were invited to the new British Legion drop-in centre for ice cream and milkshakes.

Tomorrow, Armistice Day, the Mayor will attend at the war memorial in Memorial Gardens, Boston, for a service and silence at 10.45am.

Also tomorrow, at 8pm there will be a small gathering of Polish people at the Memorial Gardens in Wide Bargate, Boston, to commemorate Polish Independence in 1918 and also to honour and to remember the many Polish servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War, and also in remembrance of the service personnel from the many nations of the World who fought against tyranny.

The flag of the Polish Air Force Association will be quietly paraded.

The Polish forces as a whole are considered to have been the 4th largest Allied army opposing Germany in Europe, after the Soviet Union, United States and Britain. Polish pilots fought in the Battle of Britain, where the Polish 303 Fighter Squadron claimed the highest number of German kills of any Allied squadron. 

Approximately six million Polish citizens perished during the Second World War - about one fifth of the pre-war population. Most were civilian victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Also tomorrow night, RBL members will sleep out at Memorial Gardens to raise awareness of the homeless.

Remembrance Sunday, November 8, was marked with a service at the war memorial in Memorial Gardens, Boston, a parade to Boston Stump and then to the saluting base outside WH Smiths in Wide Bargate. Troops from RAF Coningsby marched past.

The Mayor and Officer Commanding RAF Coningsby, Group Captain Jez Attridge were in attendance.

Last Post Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window  Poetry reading Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
The Last Post sounds before the two-minute silence and Siddhart Anand (11) reads his poem of remembrance

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School representatives lay their wreaths

Remembrance Service Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window