Two Sheffield mothers, whose military sons died while serving in action, are encouraging Shiregreen residents to join them for a poignant Remembrance Sunday service.
Nicolette Williams and Ann Fellows will be joined by young people from the 231st Shiregreen Scouts for the ceremony, which is supported by Sanctuary Housing, at the War Memorial in Shiregreen Cemetery.
Starting at 10.15am on 13 November, the ceremony gives local families the chance to pay their respects to Shiregreen’s servicemen and women, involved in conflicts from the First and Second World Wars up to more recent military action in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
Hundreds of residents are expected to gather for the moving ceremony that will be based around poetry and modern day songs chosen by the two mothers and scouts. The service will also include a sombre parade from the cemetery entrance to the war memorial, followed by a two minutes' silence at 11am, before the laying of a wreath.
Nicolette’s son, Senior Aircraftsman Christopher Bridge, was killed while serving in Afghanistan on 30 August 2007, while Ann’s son, Lance Corporal Jamie Fellows, was also killed in the same war a year later on 12 December 2008.
Ann Fellows said: “This ceremony is particularly important to us to ensure no servicemen and women from Shiregreen are forgotten as the nation unites to honour all who have suffered or died in war.”
Nicolette Williams added: “With kind support from the Scouts and Sanctuary Housing, we hope this service will be as well attended as usual and welcome any residents who want to pay their respects on Sunday.”
The two Shiregreen mothers worked with Sanctuary Housing, South Yorkshire Police and other local businesses in 2012 to fund the cemetery’s war memorial in honour of Shiregreen’s brave sons and daughters, killed in action. The memorial was designed and erected by Sheffield-based stonemason Alexander Hanson.
Melanie King, Sanctuary Housing neighbourhood partnerships manager for Shiregreen, said: “We are honoured to support such an important community-led service that allows our local residents to come together to remember the contributions of Shiregreen’s military personnel.”
Danny Levick, group scout leader for Shiregreen Scouts, commented: “This ceremony puts young people very much at the centre of the remembrance service and helps younger generations understand and remember those that have been lost in wars around the world, now and in the past.”
The service was supported by Sanctuary’s community investment fund, which focusses on projects benefitting Sanctuary residents and communities.