Army and Sea Cadets gathered on a spectacular Cornish clifftop yesterday (21 September 2014) to mark exactly 100 years since the publication of a poem whose fourth verse has become synonymous with Remembrance:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
More than a dozen members of the Bodmin and Wadebridge Platoons of Lucknow Company, Cornwall Army Cadet Force, were led in a commemoration service by their Chaplain, Rev Alen McCulloch, along with Rev Diane Powell, Chaplain to Padstow Sea Cadets, who were also represented.
‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon
‘For the fallen’ was composed by the war poet Laurence Binyon while sitting on the cliffs at Polzeath in Cornwall. Binyon was prompted to write the poem as news came through of the first British casualties on the Western Front.
It was first published in The Times of 21 September 1914 and those famous four lines are now recited at Remembrance ceremonies all over the world.
A commemorative plaque was installed on the clifftop at Pentire Point, above the town of Polzeath, in 2001.
As a former Army and Royal Navy chaplain, Rev McCulloch has spoken those famous words at Remembrance ceremonies all over the world – from Belize to Camp Bastion.
Next month he will be accompanying a party of Cornwall ACF Cadets, officers and adult instructors on a battlefield tour of Flanders and Northern France, including visits to the Menin Gate and the Memorial to the Missing on the Somme at Thiepval.
Cornwall Army Cadet Force and its counterparts in the Sea Cadets and Air Training Corps are uniformed voluntary youth organisations sponsored by the respective services.
For further information on Cornwall ACF call 01208 73183. For information about the Sea Cadet Corps go to www.sea-cadets.org/.