ANZAC DAY SERVICE & PARADE at LEIGHTERTON
On 26 April 2015 Leighterton marked the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign with their annual commemorative service of Anzac Day. This has been held in Leighterton since 1931 except for the years 1940-45. The County mustered over 40 of its Standards and was joined by those of other organisations.
The commemoration was well attended by the Officers, Standard Bearers and members of RBL Branches in Gloucestershire and included many dignitaries. Group Captain Paul Nicholas represented the Australian High Commission and the Australian Defence Force; Captain Ryan Hutson represented the New Zealand High Commission and New Zealand Defence; and Philip Griffin represented The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. National representation for the RBL was provided by the National Chairman, John Crisford; and Women’s Section National Chairman, Marilyn Humphry. Civic representation comprised The Right Worshipful Mayor of Gloucester, Councillor Deb Llewellyn. The County President was accompanied by Air Commodore Paul Oborn who is still serving as a pilot in the RAF; he came over from New Zealand to join the RAF and has relatives who served with the ANZAC Force.
Lord Vestey, The Deputy Lord Lieutenant, inspected the parade before they marched through Leighterton to the cemetery for the Service. The Service of hymns and prayers was supported by the Nailsworth Silver Band.
The parade formed up at Leighterton Primary School then, led by 614 (Lydney) Squadron ATC, marched to the Cemetery for the Service.Twenty-four members of the Australian Flying Corps are buried in Leighterton cemetery: flying instructors, cadets and ground crew. All except one died in 1918-1919 during flight training, or of other causes. Lord Vestey lead the wreath laying; wreaths were also laid by the Mayor of Gloucester; UK Forces; Australian Defence Force; New Zealand Defence Force; RBL National Chairman; RBL W/S National Chairman; and the Western Front Association.
The Roll Call was read by pupils of Leighterton Primary School who also read out two of the letters that they had written to the Fallen airmen. For ANZACs rosemary is synonymous with remembrance and commemoration. To mark this, the children from the Leighterton Primary School placed sprigs of rosemary on the headstones.
The Exhortation was read by The RBL National Chairman, John Crisford, and the Dedication by The RBL Women’s Section National Chairman, Marilyn Humphry. The RBL County Chairman, Anny Reid, then gave the Thanks. After the Service the parade marched back past Lord Vestey who took the salute.
Refreshments were then taken in the School Hall and the pupils sang a commemorative song to the Fallen. The day finished with the pupils laying commemorative pebbles in the school garden, one for every one of the Anzacs commemorated in the cemetery.
See links to: Anzac Graves and School Assembly
Further photos are shown below.