Remembrance Day with Cousins

What a wonderful experience to go up to Cradley, Herefordshire for Remembrance Day, to be with some cousins (2nd, 4 times removed, I think) Janet and Roger for the Memorial Service for her grandfather, Thomas William Philpotts, who died in World War 1 in Italy. Janet bought a ceramic poppy that was a part of last year’s Tower of London Centenniel of the start of WW1, and decided to have it permanently displayed in the church he attended (where many of our ancestors worshipped, were christened, married and buried). It was dedicated as a part of the Remembrance Day Service held each year. Many of her family attended, her brother and his family and many of the family of her other brother who has passed away. They are such wonderful people; it was so fun to meet them! The whole service was wonderful, well attended, with a processional of members of the British Legion, scouts with their flags, the choir in full robes, the vicar and a visiting military chaplain, who both spoke. There also were readings and hymns we all sang together. The names of those who died in WW1 and WW2 from the three parishes, Cradley, Mathon and Storridge were read out. A stirring trumpet solo introduced two minutes of silence (joined by all the country). It was very impressive.

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St. James Church, Cradley

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Roy, Libby and yours truly

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Cradley churchyard

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Bell ringers who were working as we arrived.

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Preparations for the service inside the church.

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Ceramic Poppy in honor of Thomas,  from the Tower of London 2014 display.

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Janet, her brother Jeffrey and son Richard.

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All  direct descendants of Thomas.

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Janet and Roger and nieces, nephew and son.

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Thomas William Philpotts and his wife Eliza, (Mary Elizabeth Cartwright) (circa 1917) before he went to war, also leaving behind his three living children, including his daughter Mary Eliza, age 9, Janet and Jeffrey’s mother.

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Thomas’ Grave at Vicenza, Veneto, Italy

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WW1 Memorial at Cradley

Just a sidenote, a neat experience with Jeffrey, pictured below. It seemed like it was very important to him to tell us his feelings about his experiences with World War 2. He talked about seeing the camps of the American soldiers, the black regiment and the white regiment. He remembers how the Americans shared gum and candy with the village children and how one day the troops were all there and the next morning, vanished. That was D-Day. He said, “If it wasn’t for those Americans, I wouldn’t be here! The Americans came in and saved the day!” He seemed to want to thank our country through Gene and me, a sweet experience! It was neat to talk of that team effort of our countries!

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Jeffrey, Thomas’ grandson

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Sweet conversation, not the best photo, but it kind of captures the moment.

We so enjoyed this patriotic, inspiring day!

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