10:23 Wednesday 04 June 2014

Witchford Voices return from 'emotional' remembrance tour in Belgium

Written byJORDAN DAY

Popular community choir Witchford Voices has recently returned from a moving remembrance tour in Belgium.

Two years after the choir’s successful continental tour, members returned to give a moving performance at the prestigious Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony in Ypres.

The Last Post is the traditional final salute to the fallen, played by the buglers in honour of the memory of the soldiers of the former British Empire and its allies, who died at Ypres during the First World War.

The ceremony has been conducted every evening at precisely 8pm without fail since 1928.

Witchford Voices sang two pieces whilst representatives from across the world laid wreaths at the Menin Gate memorial.

The tour was planned to coincide with the centenary commemorations of the start of the First World War, and for many in the choir, it had very local and personal resonance.

During the war, a soldier from Witchford, Private Joseph W Dunham, was killed on June 3, 1917.

He was buried in the Vlamertinghe military cemetery in Belgium.

During Witchford Voices’ visit, choir member Nina Jellicoe and her husband, George, who live in the village, placed a wreath on his grave.

George said: “I was honoured to be asked to place the wreath on behalf of Witchford and the Royal British Legion. It was an emotional experience.”

To commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War, a small group of volunteers have also planted thousands of poppy seeds in Witchford.

For more information about the choir, visit www.witchfordvoices.com.

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