Town comes together for Remembrance

Thanks to Lyme Regis lifeboat crew for the loan of wellies (and the boat ride back to dry land) for the Battle’s Over commemorations

IT was great to see all corners of the community come together as Lyme Regis marked 100 years since the end of the First World War over the weekend.

After a stormy night, wreath laying at the HMS Formidable grave in the cemetery on Saturday morning seemed an apt way to start the weekend’s commemorations.

The weather was not on our side; as the short service got underway, lightning flashed, the loudest clap of thunder echoed around the valley and the heavens opened. I practically jumped out of my boots as I clung to my umbrella.

During the two-minute silence, thoughts quickly turned to the men of Lyme Regis who would have had to battle on no matter what the conditions, nothing to shield them from the rain, far from this little town and terrified.

Then, as the Reveille was played, as if on cue, the rain stopped, the sun shone and a rainbow appeared over the cemetery. Peace at last.

Luckily the weather was much improved for Sunday’s events, bringing out the biggest crowd I can ever remember for the parade and church service.

Lyme was lucky to be among the 30 seaside towns chosen to take part in Danny Boyle’s unique Pages of the Sea, which drew in additional spectators. It was a difficult event to capture on camera, but the aerial shots which were later released revealed that the portrait of Rifleman Kulbir Thapa was pulled off perfectly with very limited practise time and on a beach ravaged by storm the previous evening. Well done to all those involved!

The busy weekend came to an end with Lyme taking part in the national Battle’s Over commemorations on Sunday evening. I was told I’d be joining the mayor on the North Wall as she lit a beacon, symbolising an end to the darkness of war and a return to the light of peace.

With the tide rapidly coming in, events didn’t go quite as smoothly as those earlier in the day, but the lifeboat crew came to our rescue (quite literally), lending us their iconic yellow wellies to wade across to the beacon and then pulling us back to dry land in the harbourmaster’s tender, as the water was by then deemed to deep to walk through.

With bonfire night and Remembrance now behind us, thoughts start to turn to the festive period – although I think I might be a bit Christmased out by the time it actually comes around.

Preparations seem to start earlier every year and it’s no different in the LymeOnline office, where we have been busy working on the festive edition of our popular Lyme Life magazine for several weeks.

The magazine will be completed next week and will be out at the end of November, just in time for the switch-on of Lyme’s Christmas lights on Saturday, December 1.

We have just two more printed editions of LymeOnline coming out before Christmas. I can’t believe it’s come around so quickly and soon we’ll be celebrating the paper’s first anniversary!

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2617 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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