Cornwall Living

Armistice 100 at Helston Community Hospital

Four years of WW1 Centenary commemorations came to a close for Helston Community Hospital on Friday 9th November, an event created by local Author and Health Care Assistant Neill Wilson and Dr Ken Whittle.

The candle lit service, held outside in the hospital’s sensory and memorial garden, was attended by many; including Captain Rimmington, commander of RNAS Culdrose, Derek Thomas MP, town councillors and the Mayor of Helston, as well as staff and patients from Lismore ward, many bringing their families along. A large contingent of Sea Cadets from Penzance, Helston Town Band and citizens of the Lizard Peninsula, braved the stormy weather to support the event. Special guest was Eric Taylor, a Dunkirk veteran who was presented with a poppy cake, created by Kellies Kakes of St Keverne, following the service.

Rector of Helston, Canon David Miller and Cornwall Partnerships Foundation NHS Trust Chaplain, Rev Martin Pinnock led the service, during which, Kipling’s ‘If’ was read by RN Laura Conway and RN Orcheston read ‘The guns they fell silent’ written especially for the event by Stanley Wilson (nom de plumme of Neill Wilson). The Sea Cadets spoke the words of remembrance and Capt. Rimmington said the Kohima epitaph.

Bugler, James House of the Royal Navy played ‘The Last Post’ and ‘Charlie Reveille’ eloquently. Whilst the 206 named crosses were laid in the garden, the band beautifully played music of remembrance.

One local person exclaimed their disappointment as they noted the rain had begun to wash the names off the crosses. HCA Wilson assured them that

‘This was all part of the occasion, their names were returned to the earth with the memory of them all. Creating a new one.”

Although Armistice 100 was about remembering the war dead from the peninsula, it was also about creating memories too. On Armistice Sunday itself both Dr Whittle and HCA Wilson were honoured to have been invited to lay wreaths on behalf of Helston Community Hospital and the League of Friends.

To close the commemorations, HCA Wilson has created an Armistice 100 memory book. The book contains photographs from the service and poems that were read on the night. The book can be viewed in the foyer of the memorial hospital for all to read and enjoy.

‘This was all part of the occasion, their names were returned to the earth with the memory of them all. Creating a new one."