In the beautiful sunshine in Dersingham village the congregation gathered for this important centenary service. It was to remember all those that gave their lives and suffered in the Gallipoli campaign a hundred years ago. It involved all who were engaged in the campaign including those who were defending their country. In this part of Norfolk, the local men from the 5th Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment were also remembered.
The solemn service was conducted by the Rev Julie Boyd who welcomed all, many of whom had travelled great distances in order to attend. 24 Standards then entered the church led by the Gallipoli & Dardanelles Standard. For the first time there was a French Standard carried by Mr Michel Giquel.
The congregation was led by the Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Councillor Colin Manning, the Deputy Mayor of Hunstanton, Councillor James Johnson together with the local member of parliament Mr Henry Bellingham MP.
It was truly an international service with officers representing Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The congregation similarly reflected the countries involved in the campaign. Representatives also came from the Air Force, Police and the Fire Brigade, together with cadets from the Air Force and Navy. Local organizations were represented including the British Legion and Royal Norfolk & Anglian Social Club.
Eleven children from Guides, Rainbows, Brownies, and Beaver Cubs attended with adults supervising. One of the Rainbows aged 6 years laid a wreath.
Lessons were read by the Mayor and by Mr Graham Beck who is a great nephew of Captain Frank Beck of the Sandringham Company. The sermon was given by the Bishop of Lynn The Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick whose grandfather lost his life at Gallipoli.
The moving words of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were read by Colonel Mehmet Calkayis, Army Attache for Turkey.
18 wreaths were laid after which Lt Cmdr Arthur Coxon RN(Ret) read the words from Laurence Binyon’s poem of remembrance followed by the Last Post and Reveille.
After the service all were invited to the church hall for tea and biscuits and a warm welcome from John Crowe President of Gallipoli & Dardanelles International.