Words & pictures by WO2 (SMI) Peter Russell/County Media Officer
On Sunday, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, everyone stopped and took time to remember those who served their country in time of conflict. From the Great War, through the Second World War to the present day, only in a single year - 1968 - has a British or Commonwealth serviceman or woman not lost their life in conflict.
Remembrance Day, 11th November, and Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday closest to the 11th, are times when we all unite to reflect upon deeds done, lives lost or lives changed forever by conflict.
In Frome, a town representative of every village, town and city throughout the country, a parade and service took place. Army Cadets and the Silver Bugles Band of Frome Platoon, Normandy Company, along with cadets from Writhlington School CCF (Combined Cadet Force), veterans, members of the Royal British Legion and representatives from all branches of the community marched to the cenotaph outside the Memorial Theatre to pay their respects.
Scenes like this were to be seen the length and breadth of the country.
The poet Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) put it most eloquently in his poem ‘For The Fallen’, first published on 21st September 1914. Rarely is the complete poem published; here it is in its entirety.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.