In Haslemere, the service and procession for Remembrance Day was as memorable as ever and attracted the usual large crowds of residents of all ages.
Particularly impressive were the young people – the Guides and Scouts, Brownies and Cubs, Air, Army and Naval cadets and other youth groups. All were well-drilled and marched proudly and respectfully, a real tribute to their leaders and themselves.
But – following a decision taken around 1976 – this might not have been the case at all.
At that time I was running the 4th Haslemere Guides and we had already taken part in previous assemblies for Remembrance Day.
Suddenly the powers-that-be decreed that they thought that having the young people marching was not really relevant anymore and it would cease.
My fellow Guiders and, most importantly, the girls were furious and I reported this back and said that, no matter what, we would be taking part and marching on the day.
So, come November, the 4th Haslemere Guides were the only youth group marching behind civic dignitaries and the Royal British Legion.
That did it – it appears all the other youth groups started demanding why they couldn’t be in the procession too. The following year they were all back and, apart from lockdown, have been an integral part of the service and ceremony since.
And didn’t they all do us proud this year!
Lythe Hill Park, Haslemere