On Sunday 12th November, St Michael’s Church was full of members of the local community to remember our men who gave their lives in the First World War. The Trust was especially pleased to welcome family members of nine of the men who are commemorated on our war memorial. The wreath was laid by the Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Peter Reader.
This year we remembered in particular the role of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy during the war. Readings by Ben and Niki Jennings were about Jack Cornwell, the 16 year old sailor who was awarded the Victoria Cross, and the Zeebrugge Raid. Music from the Belvedere Concert Band, conducted by Andrew Denyer, ranged from the traditional Nimrod to Padstow Lifeboat to Pirates of the Caribbean and band member George Stafford played a selection of sea shanties on his accordion.
Guests were treated to a beautiful and emotional solo from Niki Jennings – With You, from the musical Ghost – and an amazing duet with husband, Ben Jennings, of You’ll Never Walk Alone. Niki and Ben are both incredibly talented, seasoned performers on the West End stage and live locally in Welling.
‘Barmy Army’ trumpeter Bill Cooper played the Last Post and music from Handel with organist, Doug Snow. The East Wickham Singers and the WI Choir sang Steal Away to Jesus / Swing Low Sweet Chariot.
We thank all of our accomplished performers for making the Festival such a poignant and fitting tribute to the men who died and such a popular community event. Our thanks to those who helped behind the scenes are listed with more photos of the Fesival and can be viewed here.
The retiring collection raised £1,540 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Thank you!