A SPECIAL Turning the Pages ceremony is planned to mark the outbreak of the First World War.
The commemorative event is usually held four times every year, but there are hopes that 2014 will be an exception.
The usual ceremony takes place at Christ Church Cathedral in St Aldate’s tomorrow.
However, chairman of the Oxford branch of the Royal Green Jackets Association, retired Major Terry Roper, said he planned to organise an extra ceremony on Monday, August 4 – the 100 years to the day when Britain declared war on Germany.
Mr Roper, 65, from Barton, Oxford, served in the Royal Green Jackets and The Rifles from 1970 to 2012 and retired as a Major after serving in Germany, Cyprus, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said: “After Saturday’s ceremony, another one is not scheduled until September, but I think it would be very fitting if there was a Turning the Pages ceremony on August 4 to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, so I am planning to organise it.
“There’s a lot of interest in the First World War at the moment so I think a special ceremony would be well attended.
“These men whose names are read out laid down their lives for their country and the ceremony reminds people, and us as their successors, of the debt we owe that generation.
“Every one of these soldiers whose names are read out were fighting for a just cause, in both world wars.”
The dedicated events to remember soldiers who died in the two world wars were first launched in 1996. About 30 to 40 people usually attend, but numbers have started to grow because of the centenary of the Great War.
A total of 20 names of soldiers from the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who fought and died in each of the conflicts, are read out.
Colonel Mike Vince, former commandant of the Bucks Army Cadet Force, one of the organisers of the ceremonies, said earlier this year that attendances were growing as people became interested in the history of the First World War, and researched their family trees. On November 11 last year – Remembrance Day – up to 150 people gathered for the ceremony at the cathedral’s military chapel.
Organisers are keen to hear from friends and family of the fallen. Buglers from the Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force play The Last Post and The Reveille at the ceremony.
NAMES READ OUT
Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars
- First World War 1914 -1918
William Edward Roberts
Frederick Joseph Rouse
Leslie William Saunders
Matthew Francis Saunders
- Second World War 1939 -1945
John James Hatchett
John William Rymill
William Lionel Howard Sansbury
Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry
- First World War 1914 - 1918
Edward George Bemi
William Henry Fossey
George William Parker
- Second World War 1939 - 1945
Lionel Charles Goodwin
Raymond Leslie Moore
Reginald Phillip Sherwood
Ernert James Warren
- Tomorrow’s Turning the Pages ceremony is at 11am in the Military Chapel, Christ Church Cathedral.
- To make contact with Turning the Pages Organisers email Mr Roper at firstname.lastname@example.org