The annual YORK Festival of Remembrance took place today at a new venue, but – as always – its aim was to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today.
The festival, which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, was held at St Peter’s School in Clifton, whose members of the Combined Cadet Force have played a role in the event.
The event, which included Abide With Me, Jerusalem, Rule Britannia, The Last Post, an Act of Remembrance and Reveille, took place for many years at York Barbican but took place last year at the Methodist Church Central St Saviourgate.
Festival producer Sandie Dunleavy said he moves to different venues each year to allow new audiences to join him, and she was delighted he was being welcomed by the school this year.
She said the festival had two major themes this year – “Farewell to our longest serving Commander-in-Chief” and the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.
“The Queen has led the nation and the Commonwealth in honoring both service and sacrifice at the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in London and, as head of the armed forces, her consistent participation in national service of the remembrance at the cenotaph offered many thousands of those still in uniform and veterans are extremely proud to see her lay the first wreath,” she said.
“His 70 years of dedication will be his legacy to every RBL member, forever.”
Sandie, a former BBC journalist who has been the festival’s producer since 2013, said performers on Sunday included the Community Chorus of Haxby & Wigginton, which was set up by its manager Diane Beal as a social singing group and performed for the first time at a remembrance festival. at York Barbican.
Another performer was soloist Jessa Liversidge, a Scottish singer based in Easingwold, whose “pure, heartfelt voice and characterful storytelling are her trademark”.
She said another performer, folk singer-songwriter Stan Graham, had been a professional soldier for 36 years, after rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel, but his musical journey began at the Black Swan Folk Club. in York, and he had collected an ever- increasing number of international songwriting awards.
She said the York Railway Institute Band was established in 1883 and was York’s oldest and most successful marching band, while Dr David Lancaster, the director of music, was an associate professor of composition at the University York St John, and his music was performed at concerts and festivals by some of the world’s leading new music performers.