Yesterday a coach load of 32 Hollingbourne residents and their friends visited Hollingbourne’s twin community of Templeuve, near Lille for their Armistice Day celebrations. The fourth annual trip was organised by the Hollingbourne Twinning Association and the Leeds and Hollingbourne branch of the Royal British Legion.
The proceedings in Templeuve started with a procession to the town cemetery led by various standard bearers including Derek Davison who also did most of the organising for the visit. After laying wreaths on the memorials to the French dead and two world wars and other conflicts poppy wreaths were laid on the graves of two English servicemen who were killed locally on the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940.
The ceremony which was led by Luc Monnet, Mayor of Templeuve, continued in the Town Square where there was a large crowd and it concluded with the release of pigeons.
After the formal events the visitors from Hollingbourne were treated to a civic reception and a five course lunch with entertainment that was organised by the Templeuve War Veterans Association.
This trip is likely to the the last for a few years because the next few Armistice Days on 11th November will clash with the Remembrance Day weekend in the United Kingdom.
Today a party of 18 from Templeuve will be visiting Kent for the weekend and they will be joining Hollingbourne residents for the All Saint’s Church Remembrance Day service tomorrow at 10.50am which will be followed by a lunch in the Village Hall.
Pictured below (top left) is the Mayor of Templeuve about to lay a wreath on the French memorial surrounded by standard bearers including Derek Davison with the blue and gold flag on the right, (top right) the poppy wreaths from Hollingbourne WI (far left) made by Audrey Sharpington and from Hollingbourne Parish Council, laid by Chairman Mike Bedwell, next to it, (bottom left) the release of the pigeons at the end of the Armistice Day ceremony in the Town Square, and (bottom right) members of the Hollingbourne party at the afternoon lunch.