Throughout 2018, Chalfont St Giles Parish Council has been co-ordinating events and activities to bring the community together in an act of remembrance for those who gave so much for us during the First World War.
Entering the village, there are several ‘Chalfont St Giles Remembers’ signs. In addition, the council has placed Silent Soldiers in four locations.
The figures symbolise the representation of “Tommy” returning home silently at the end of the war, but also remembers those that lost their lives and never made it back.
In April, the parish council asked for volunteers to knit poppies for a living art installation.
The response was overwhelming from volunteers, who have produced hundreds of beautiful poppies which are now creating a wonderful display around the village pond.
This display began in July and has gradually grown until the last poppy will be put in place by Royal Navy veteran, chairman of the parish council, Gordon Patrick on Sunday, November 11.
The poppies will remain until the end of the year, when they will be removed from their location around the pond and distributed to the children attending village schools.
In September, the Hemel Hempstead Band played tunes from the era of the First World War on the village green.
Residents were encouraged to ‘sit back and enjoy the music, whilst taking time to ponder on how different our lives would be, if it was not for the brave and courageous souls that fought to protect us.’
The Parish Church has a number of graves in the church cemetery that belong to servicemen who lost their lives during WW1.
These graves are marked with knitted poppies.
The Church has also created a display of poppies over the historic Lych Gate and in the entrance to the church.
In mid-October, the businesses and traders of Chalfont St Giles placed poppy decals in their windows to create a unified display of remembrance throughout the village to mirror the spirit showed by those involved in the war and the efforts on the home front.
The council’s lasting act of remembrance will be to add commemorative plaques to the home addresses of the fallen soldiers.
The parish council would like to thank all of those who have given their time and enthusiasm to help to make these events and activities a success, including funding from Chiltern District Council and the Royal British Legion.
As the older poppies around the pond fade with sunlight and weathering they will represent how our memories of World War One have faded over the years. However Chalfont St Giles Remembers.