In 1917, artist Juliet Norah Williams sent hand-painted postcards to Tynemouth-born Lieutenant Kenneth Garnett, who, after being severely injured in the Battle of the Somme, reconnected to the world through Juliet’s painted postcards of countryside scenes and mandolin players. 100 years later, St John’s School and Sixth Form College, a Catholic Academy in Bishop Auckland, has been working with local veterans, historians and teachers to rediscover the power of Juliet’s idea of rehabilitation through postcards and images, and their work will be featured at this year’s Festival of Remembrance.
During the Festival of Remembrance student participants in the Postcard Project together with local cadets will be reading diary entries and excerpts of wartime correspondence, including some of the original postcards.
The Festival of Remembrance Concert is an annual event and includes a muster parade; performances by military, emergency service and community bands and choirs and the now famous poppy drop from the Cathedral tower. This poignant event combines celebration and commemoration, to mark the sacrifice of those who’ve given their lives in service for our country.
Performances this year will come from The Band of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 102 Battalion Pipe Band, Durham Musical Theatre Company, Durham Musical Theatre Company, and Enter CIC. The Festival will be narrated by Alasdair Hutton, the voice of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Major Eric Ingram, who organises the concert, said: “We are delighted to be reuniting for another year’s poignant and uplifting festival. This year we remember the centenary of the USA entering WW1, the 50th anniversary of the Aden campaign and 35 years since the Falklands war. The creativity and remembrance of young people that the Festival will showcase this year is especially important to the forward-facing aims of this event. All funds raised at the Festival of Remembrance will go to the ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, who offer a lifetime of support to soldiers and veterans from the British Army, and their immediate families, when they are in need.”
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, says, “We are honoured that so many ex-servicemen and women and their families choose to pay their respects each year with us at Durham Cathedral. Although we solemnly remember the lives sacrificed and risked both in historic and modern conflicts, just as important is celebrating their bravery and providing support and a sense of community to service personnel and their families.”
Tickets for the Festival of Remembrance Concert at Durham Cathedral, priced at £10 – £18, are available from the Gala Theatre Box Office
Written by: Miriam Emenike
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