The first in a number of events during 2014 planned to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War I has taken place in Christchurch on St George’s Day.
The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr John Lofts, opened a new Memorial Rose Garden at Church Hatch Gardens at Christchurch Priory. He was joined by members of The Royal British Legion, representatives of armed forces associations, councillors and officers from Christchurch Council and pupils from The Priory School for the opening ceremony.
The Mayor spoke about the war and unveiled a plaque with the words “In ever grateful remembrance of those who fell in the fight for freedom and peace in the Great War 1914 – 1918”. This was followed by bugler Nick Jarvis from the Royal British Legion Band playing the last post and a minute’s silence. Nick then played Reveille and the Vicar of the Priory Church, Revd Christopher Mann led a prayer of remembrance.
The Rose Garden has been planted with a variety of roses whose names are associated with commemorations of the war including Commonwealth Glory, Super Trouper, Mountbatten, Compassionate Friend, Continued Friends and Remembrance. There are also trellises with climbing roses Times Past and White Star.
A programme detailing all of the events which are taking place throughout the year in the borough to commemorate the Great War is available from Christchurch Information Centre, libraries, the Civic Offices and other venues in Christchurch.