Information on the individual forces personnel will follow. If you require anything beforehand, please contact the parish council
From The Fallen by Laurence Binyon
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
A History Of The Victoria Cross And Its Significance By Donald Abbott, 9th September 2007.
The War Memorial, Kings Langley
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES
FOR THEIR COUNTRY
1914 – 1918
E. E. CROUCH – BAKER
C. C. CHAMBERS
B. S. COX
J. P. COX
C. F. CRAWLEY
C. W. CURLE
E. J. CURLE
H. H. DOWSE
F. J. HAWKINS
A. F. HODGES
| W. JELLEY
F. J. LOWE
A. S. PITTS
E. E. SMITH
S. E. TEBBINGS
J. E. STEVENS
A. G. TIMBERLAKE
H. E TOMS
H. S. WARREN
W. J. YOUNG
W. R. YOUNG
Candlelit Vigil – Monday 4th August 2014
On the 22nd January 2014, the first meeting of the Back to the Front project took place to find ways of commemorating the centenary of the First World War. Both Kings Langley and Abbots Langley groups were involved. Julie Barton from Kings Langley and Roger Yapp from Abbots Langley had already met and discussed ideas. Councillor Ron Smith, Chairman of Kings Langley Parish Council was elected as chair of the combined group.
It was decided that over the Bank Holiday weekend, a Candlelit Vigil would take place on Monday 4th August and an Exhibition would run from Saturday 2nd to Sunday 3rd. Help with the exhibition was given from Kings Langley History and Museum Society and Dacorum Heritage Trust who loaned artifacts from their WW1 archives.
Ron’s ambitious plan for the vigil was to have up-to-date sound and lighting, loaning and even buying equipment himself. He wanted the memorial cross lit up, so it shone as a beacon in the night sky. Unfortunately, in June 2014, he was taken seriously ill and Cllr Bob McLean took over as Chair although Ron was still very much involved from his hospital bed.
On a balmy evening on the 4th August, over 500 people converged on the village garden to pay their respects to the soldiers of Kings Langley, Abbots Langley and Langleybury who went to war a hundred years ago, many of whom paid the ultimate price and whose names would be forever remembered etched on the village war memorials.
The service began with Ron giving a welcome and introduction to the evening and explaining why we would sing. He quoted from David Lloyd George’s speech of 1915, “He sings in the sunshine, he sings in the storm. He sings in the daytime; he sings also in the night. He sings in peace, why should he not sing in war? And should be proud”. The congregation then joined with the Kings Langley Community Choir to sing songs from the era including the favourites: Pack up Your Troubles, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and Keep the Home Fires Burning.
The Rev. Matthew Cooper from Christchurch Baptist led the service with prayers and Bible readings. Poems from the time were recited and each fallen soldier from the Roll of Honour of Abbots Langley, Kings Langley and Langleybury were read out by representatives of their village.
At 10pm approximately, the congregation each collected a candle and processed to the war memorial led by the Royal British Legion, Abbots Langley branch. After the laying of wreaths, Ron read “For the Fallen” by Robert Laurence Binyon and two young buglers from the Chesham All Girls Band played the Last Post and Reveille after a two-minute silence.
The church bell had been arranged to toll at 11pm but due to the large amount of people in close proximity, holding lighted candles, a decision was taken to toll the bell early and the service concluded around half an hour earlier than planned.
Sadly, Councillor Ron Smith passed away on 24th October 2015 aged 56 from incurable brain tumours.
The Candlelit Vigil booklet which was produced to accompany the event is still available from the Parish Council and a video of the exhibition and vigil can be found on YouTube following the link http://youtu.be/tWPR4oKAgvo.
Beverley Ross (July 2020)
The Battle of the Somme – Candlelit Vigil, July 1st 2016
We gather today with the jarring images of the waste and ruin of war imprinted on our minds and imaginations, to remember all those who were involved in the Battle of the Somme. We honour the memory of those who inhabited that war-shattered landscape, those who endured the mud and the blood; those who showed great courage and loyalty to comrades at arms; those who saw the unspeakable sight of bodies broken; those whose minds were numbed by the noise of bombardment, and those whose eyes saw the ugliness of disfigured, weeping and frightened faces. For all who were engaged in combat, those who tended the maimed and injured, the fallen, and for those families who still hold the memories of deceased soldiers, we ask for God’s mercy, and for ourselves, the grace to remember.
We will remember.