Remembrance 2018: Where and when to see events in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge
by William Mata | 2nd November 2018
FALLEN heroes shall be remembered like never before on the centenary of the First World War ending.
An unprecedented number of services and historical events in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge are being held on and in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday on November 11.
Meanwhile, the Royal British Legion is hoping to take a record amount in donations in this year’s Poppy Appeal.
The centenary refers to the laying down of arms on November 11, 1918. But Remembrance also pays tribute to those who took part in other wars, as well as their families.
The Poppy Appeal officially runs from October 2018 to September 2019 with sale of the paper flowers being the crux of the fundraising total – which is topped up by proceeds from picnics and sponsored walks.
Last year Tunbridge Wells Royal British Legion raised around £50,000, their highest total, while £47million was raised nationally.
Their Chairman John Cohen said: “This year’s appeal is going very well.
“It is a very special year and there are lots of different events going on around town and people have embraced the occasion. There is more going on this year then there has been in the past. I shall be part of the Royal British Legion’s presence at the Remembrance Sunday service.”
Proceeds from the appeal are used to support the lives of former servicemen, servicewomen and their families. This can include financial, emotional and social support.
Legion members are often be former members of the armed forces, but some have no connection and are simply looking to help.
Carl Lewis, Poppy Appeal organiser for Tonbridge Royal British Legion, said: “The community has once again come out in force to help us remember those who served.
“Tonbridge always comes out in force and we are trying to get as close to our target of £40,000 as possible. The national target is £50million.”
Last year Mr Lewis helped the Tonbridge appeal raise more than £35,000.
He continued: “It is a special year as it marks 100 years since the end of fighting, although men were still serving until 1920 as peacekeepers.
“We have to remember those who have served in more recent conflicts, they are still playing a part. It is also a tribute to the families who stay behind and work very hard while their loved ones are away serving.”
Mr Lewis, whose grandfather John William Lewis was one of 46 to die on-board HMS Strongbow in 1917, encouraged residents to attend a Remembrance Day service.
Where and when you can see Remembrance events
Friday, November 9
Lamberhurst Community Cinema is screening wartime drama film Journey’s End from 8pm [doors open 7.30pm]. The cinema is set-up inside Lamberhurst War Memorial Hall off High Street.
Rusthall Community Cinema is also showing Journey’s End at their Sunnyside Hall base in Rusthall Road. Doors open 7pm and the film begins at 8pm.
Saturday, November 10
Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark shall lead a commemorative tree planting from 12.30pm at the Crossroad in Rusthall between Coach Road and Rusthall Road.
Rusthall Club, in St Paul’s Street, is hosting an evening of live wartime music from The Carradines and Rusties from 7pm.
Sunday, November 11
A bagpipe player will perform The Battles O’er at St Paul’s Church in Langton Road, Rusthall, from 6am before the church’s remembrance service from 10am.
Southborough War Memorial shall host a Remembrance Sunday service from 9am. And from 10.30am there shall be a gathering at the War Memorial in Pembury.
In Paddock Wood, St Andrew’s Church in Maidstone Road, shall host a service from 9.30am, which shall be followed by a parade.
Central to Tunbridge Wells’ events is the procession and wreath laying at the War Memorial in Mount Pleasant, outside Town Hall from 10.45am. Civic Way will be closed to vehicles and there will be disruption to traffic from 8am in the town centre.
From 2pm in Hawkenbury Cemetery wreaths will be laid at the two Crosses of Sacrifice. Following on from 2.45pm a talk arranged by the Royal British Legion will see Christopher Everett speak on the partition of the Middle East after the First World War. This will be held in the Hawkenbury Cemetery’s Chapel.
And in Tonbridge, the Reverend Canon Mark Brown will lead the Service of Remembrance in the Memorial Gardens in Bradford Street from 10.30am. Tonbridge & Malling Mayor Pam Bates and Council Leader Nicolas Heslop are also confirmed be in attendance. There will be a parade through the town centre.
For early risers, a lone bagpiper will play a lament from 6am. There is also a separate event at The Council Chamber at Tonbridge Castle from 2pm to 7pm, where a special free exhibition of the First World War shall be held, with information and memorabilia on display. From 6.45pm on Tonbridge Castle lawn, Deputy Lieutenant Jacques Arnold will give a speech of Remembrance, which will be followed by the lighting of beacons. St Peter and St Paul’s Tonbridge Parish Church shall ring its eight bells from 9.15am.
St John the Baptist Church in Penshurst shall be holding a Remembrance Sunday Service from 10.45am.
Over in Hildenborough, St John’s Church shall host a service from 10am, followed by an act of remembrance at the village’s War Memorial from 11am.
The Assembly Hall Theatre in Crescent Road is holding an Evening of Remembrance, featuring music and reflection from 3pm. Tickets start from £10 and can be booked at assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk
From 6pm in Rusthall Common, a torchlight procession shall be held with beacon lighting from 7pm.