More than 600 children of Armed Forces personnel stationed in North Yorkshire gathered in Ripon Cathedral today (Friday November 4) for their own special service of remembrance.
The event marked the 10th anniversary of the services, which are hosted by our Service Child Champions, who support young people in the large number of county families involved in military service.
This year, the service commemorated the life and 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, following her death at the age of 96 in September. The children’s contributions and their artwork displayed in the cathedral recognized the Queen’s service in World War II and her commitment to serving staff and families during her 70 years as Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces .
The service included an original song written by the Wensleydale School Choir to commemorate the Queen’s life. There was also a performance by the Service Children Community Choir.
Students from Risedale School, Catterick Garrison, recorded a video in which they talk about what remembrance means to them as members of military families. The video was screened in the cathedral.
Executive Member of Children and Youth Services, Cllr Janet Sanderson, said: “These services have become a highly anticipated event on the calendar of many schools with service students on the roster. The service gives this wonderful group of children and youth the opportunity to have their voices heard on a day so relevant to our military community. I’m proud that as a county we work so well together to give kids that platform every year.
The Dean of Ripon, The Very Reverend John Dobson DL, said: ‘In this service we thank God for those who have given their lives to ensure that we can live in peace, and we pray for those serving in the Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. today.
“We also thank their family members, including all of the children here today, for how they make such a fantastic contribution of loving support. We thank them for what they do to help the world be safer than it would otherwise be.
Among the guests were Second Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Helen Collin, present on behalf of Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner; the Deputy Mayor of Ripon, Cllr Eamonn Parkin, present on behalf of the Mayor of Ripon, Cllr Sid Hawke; Group Captain Gareth Prendergast, Station Commander RAF Leeming; and Col. Matt Palmer of Catterick Garrison. Grahame Shepherd MBE, former director of Catterick Garrison, was the master of ceremonies.
Cpl Michael Grant of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards closed the service with a performance of the lament played by the Queen’s Piper at her state funeral.
For more information on Child of Service Champions, contact Jess Greenhalgh at [email protected]