More than 600 children of Armed Forces personnel stationed in North Yorkshire gathered in Ripon Cathedral today (Friday, 4 November) for their own special service of remembrance.
The event marked the 10th anniversary of the services, which are organised by our service children’s champions, who support youngsters in the county’s large number of families involved in the military services.
This year, the service commemorated the life and 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, following her death at the age of 96 in September. Children’s contributions and their artwork displayed in the cathedral recognised the Queen’s service during the Second World War and her commitment to serving personnel and families during her 70 years as Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces.
The service included an original song written by Wensleydale School choir to commemorate the Queen’s life. There was also a performance by the Service Children Community Choir.
Students from Risedale School, Catterick Garrison, recorded a video in which they talk about what remembrance means to them as members of military families. The video was screened in the cathedral.
Executive member for children and young people’s services, Cllr Janet Sanderson, said: “These services have become a much-anticipated event in the calendar for many schools with service pupils on roll. The service gives this wonderful group of children and young people the opportunity to have their voices heard on a day that is so poignantly relevant to our military community. I am proud that as a county we work so well together to give the children this platform each year.”
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson DL, said: “In this service, we thank God for those who have given their lives to ensure that we can live in peace, and we pray for those who serve in His Majesty’s Armed Forces today.
“We also give thanks for the ways in which their family members, including all the children here today, make a fantastic contribution by providing loving support. We thank them for what they do to help the world be safer than it would otherwise be.”
Among the guests were the Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Helen Collin, attending on behalf of The Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner; the Deputy Mayor of Ripon, Cllr Eamonn Parkin, attending on behalf of the Mayor of Ripon, Cllr Sid Hawke; RAF Leeming Station Commander Group Captain Gareth Prendergast; and Colonel Matt Palmer from Catterick Garrison. Grahame Shepherd MBE, ex-Catterick Garrison headteacher, was the master of ceremonies.
L Cpl Michael Grant from 1st Battalion Scots Guards closed the service with a performance of the lament played by the Queen’s piper at her state funeral.
For more information about service children’s champions, contact Jess Greenhalgh at email@example.com