The historic nave of Wells Cathedral was packed for a commemorative service that told the story through prose, poetry and music of the contribution of Somerset to the national and Allied effort during the First World War.
The ‘Gathering’ had been conceived by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Annie Maw, in conjunction with the Dean of Wells, the Very Reverend Dr John Davies DL.
Distinguished journalist and historian Peter Snow CBE, whose grandfather, Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Snow KCB KCMG, was a distinguished Corps Commander in the War, delivered the keynote address.
The service was attended by all generations, such as 82-year-old David Rose, of Midsomer Norton, formerly Regimental Sergeant Major of the Somerset Light Infantry and who saw service at Suez and in Malaya.
There were Cadets from all three uniformed services, including two of the new cohort of Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets, Cadet Colour Sergeant Alex Carmichael, of Portishead Platoon, Somerset ACF, and Cadet Sergeant Haomin Zhang, of Wellington School Combined Cadet Force.
Fittingly, the honour of carrying Somerset’s Memorial Book of Honour in procession with the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff and the Bishop at the opening of the service fell to one of the outgoing Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets, Leading Cadet Katharine Sousa, from Axbridge (Somerset and Dorset Sea Cadets). The procession echoed the Dedication of the County’s War Memorial in 1922.