Last Updated: 29 Oct 2018 12:54pm
Sunday 11 November 2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. In Tonbridge and Malling, a series of special events will take place to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice and those who lost their lives. There will also be several traditional Remembrance Sunday Services across the borough.
Tonbridge – Service of Remembrance
A Remembrance Service in the Memorial Gardens at Bradford Street, Tonbridge will start at 10.30am. Deputy Lieutenant Jacques Arnold; the Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling Cllr Pam Bates; Leader of the Borough Council Nicolas Heslop; Borough Council Chief Executive Julie Beilby; and the Burgermeister of Heusenstamm Twinning Association will attend the service which will begin with a dedication to the fallen soldiers of WW1 during which all the names recorded at the Memorial Gardens will be read out. Wreaths will placed at the Memorial and, at 11am, a two-minute silence will be marked with the firing of maroons. A special parade will follow the service, marching along Bradford Street, the High Street past the Town Memorial at the Watergate and up Castle Street finishing on the lawn at Tonbridge Castle. To mark this special centenary of the Armistice, doves will then be released to symbolise peace. Members of the public are welcome to attend the service. There will be rolling road closures for up to 15 minutes between 10.30am and 12.30pm along the route of the parade. Exact timings depend on the parade progression on the day.
Exhibition at Tonbridge Castle
From 2pm to 7pm, the Council Chamber at Tonbridge Castle will open its doors to the public for a special free exhibition of World War 1 information and memorabilia. Much of the information will focus on the part that Tonbridge played during WW1. An artistic piece entitled The Hairshirt by Gill Smith will also be on display. The piece features a sculptural representation of a British Army Greyback shirt, inspired by the powerful effect of warfare, and refers to the enduring and often invisible war fought by combatants after conflict.
National tribute – Beacons of Light
In the evening, the Borough Council will join the nation in the ‘Battle’s Over’ tribute to mark the day 100 years ago when the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War. At 6.45pm on Tonbridge Castle lawn, Deputy Lieutenant Jacques Arnold will give a speech of remembrance. He will be accompanied by Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling Cllr Pam Bates, and members of the Heusenstamm Twinning Association. At 6.55pm the 17th Tonbridge Scout and Guide Band will play The Last Post and at 7pm Remembrance events in Tonbridge will conclude with the ceremonial ‘Lighting of the Beacon’ at Tonbridge Castle. More than 1,000 Beacons of Light will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories, with the first of these Beacons being lit at Westminster Abbey, London.
West Malling – Service of Remembrance
In West Malling, events will start at 2pm with Deputy Lieutenant Jacques Arnold and the Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling Cllr Pam Bates taking the salute by the pump in the High Street as part of the remembrance service and parade. From the Saluting Base the parade will then continue to St Mary’s Church where the Service of Remembrance will begin at 2.30pm. After the service there will be a short wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial outside the church. Road closures will be in two parts, the first from 2pm to 2.15pm and the second from 3.30pm to 3.45pm. Both parts affect the High Street between the railway bridge and St Leonards Street.
Kings Hill – Service of Remembrance
The Deputy Mayor for Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Jill Anderson, will attend the Kings Hill Service of Remembrance at Liberty Square at 10.30am. After the two-minute silence at 11am, the parade will then walk to the Running Airman Memorial to lay wreaths.
Aylesford – Service of Remembrance
The Royal British Legion Village Branch in Aylesford is holding a Remembrance Sunday Service at 2.30pm. Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham and Aylesford, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Chief Executive Julie Beilby and Council Leader Cllr Nicolas Heslop will attend along with the Deputy Mayor for Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Jill Anderson.
Members of the public are very welcome to attend any of these services.
Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Pam Bates, says: "On the centenary of the Armistice we will give thanks for peace and for those who returned, and remember those who sadly lost their lives at war. Ceremonies like these are so important in showing that we will never forget them and I hope the people of Tonbridge and Mallling will join me in paying tribute to the bravery and personal sacrifice made by so many.”