On November 4, the church bells of St James the Great rang out a muffled peel to welcome more than 200 attendees to two performances of the bi-annual Kilkhampton Festival of Remembrance. 

The festival started with the national anthem and Chivenor Military Ladies Choir who sang ‘The Poppy Red’. 

The church was beautifully decorated and Col Roger Lawes welcomed one and all.

Standards of the Royal British Legion, Royal Naval Association, Royal Marines Association, Royal Air Force Association, and Hartland RAF Cadets were all represented and marched out with service personnel, Royal Navy, Rifles,  Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Paratroopers, and RAF to form a guard of honour for Chelsea Pensioner Brian Cummings as Tamarside and Kilkhampton church choir sang ‘Boys of the Old Brigade’.

Singing loudly ‘I Vow to the my Country’ with bandmaster Colin Gay taking charge and ably assisted with organist Brenda Luxton as James Stacey processed the union standard to the front of the church. 

The festival welcomed Plymouth Pipes and Drums who played a set followed by soloist Callum Flew.

Tamarside Singers and Kilkhampton choir sang two beautiful pieces which then led on to Naomi Whittaker Smith (Her son, Pte Joe Whittaker was lost in Afghanistan in 2008) leading the Act of Remembrance accompanied by Lt Col Grice. 

Deacon Debbie Marsh led prayers with Rev Teresa Rolland and Simon Leigh and the Act of Remembrance followed. 

A lone piper stood in the bell tower and played the Last Post as the union standard was dipped and two minutes silence was observed as the poppies floated down from the rafters and fell silently on the parade below. 

The band played sunset and the final hymn was the day thou gavest as once again the poppies drifted down to the congregation, a very emotional moving Act of Remembrance.

Parade Marshall Luke Francis said: “It is a privilege to put on the festival with over 100 patrons participating, with two performance we seat over 400 people, there are just to many to thank individually but to think it has been enjoyed by so many and raised over £4,500 for the poppy appeal makes it so worth while.”