The annual increase in attendance at the Portland Cenotaph was evident again this year with over 500 people braving the cold but dry weather to pay homage to those local residents, who had paid the ultimate price in World wars and other conflicts so that we may live in security and peace. This gathering follows that of the day before when over 50 people joined the Portland RNA to observe Armistice Day, another increase in numbers on this special occasion.
The main Parade and Standards mustered at the “Drill Hall” before marching/walking up Easton Lane to the beat of the TS Penn Portland Sea Cadets Corps of drums, and the standard of the Isle and Royal Manor of Portland. CSM Sergeant Major C. Joynes, the march commander.
The service was led by Rev Tim Gomm – Team Rector of Portland and President of the Royal British Legion on Portland. Assisted by Rev James Menzies – Team Vicar of Portland and Mr David Framer Lay Pastor of the Portland Methodist Circuit. The Parade Commander Shipmate Charles H Thompson Royal Naval Association, ensured the event went to time and in good order.
Over 25 wreaths were laid which included Town Mayor of Portland Cllr. Charlie Flack. MP for Dorset South Mr Richard Drax MP. The Court Leet. The Royal British Legion. The Royal Naval Association. Army Associations. Royal Air Force Association. SSAFA. Dorset Police. Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. National Coastwatch Portland Bill. Portland Sea Cadets T.S Penn. Portland ACF. The Dorset Fire Service. H.M. Portland prison. The RAOB and many other organisations and associations.
It should be mentioned and a vote of thanks go to the Portland Town Council for ensuring the Cenotaph memorial was looking so splendid following the refurbishment this year.
Thanks also for the continued annual support goes to the Weymouth Concert Brass. Thanks also to the Portland Conservative Club for laying on very welcome hot soup, roast potatoes and dippers, to accompany ‘Up Spirits’ after such a cold morning.
The 2017 remembrance did not end at the Cenotaph. At 1230 a further service was held in Victoria Gardens at the American Memorial.
Another event, in the evening this time at the St John the Baptist Church Fortuneswell, for the Royal British Legion Portland Service of Remembrance.