A different service in honour of the fallen

ON Tuesday 11th November 2008 at 10.45am, in the area around the war memorial near to gates of Nottingham Road Cemetery, Mansfield, a service will take place in remembrance of those who have paid the ultimate price in service of our country in conflicts/wars and disturbances from 1900 to present day.

There will be a roll call of names if demand is sufficient. The public are invited to submit usual information, name, rank, date of death, where if known, and details of who they were in service of.

Unlike the 'traditional' remembrance services, those serving in civil duties, ambulance, fire brigade, wardens, WRVS, SJAB and all other agencies will be remembered alongside side of the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

Furthermore, (with specific relevance to this area) those who served in the mines and were possibly NOT allowed to serve our country in the theatres of war, or indeed in support of them, for they were made to remain in the mines to provide will be mentioned for, in fact , they did serve.

The only criteria applied is; those who died must have been at an age that would have meant service normally in the three main services, and indeed, all must have died during such time as they were expected to remain in the mines during wartime.

This remembrance service will be led by a humanist celebrant, and include contributions from other humanists, both official celebrants and those working independently of the British Humanist Association (BHA).

This is not a BHA service, but a tribute in honour of the fallen without religious content for those with or without a faith who would prefer a simple, honest remembrance devoid of the 'traditional' content of those having already been performed up and down the country, and elsewhere locally on this special day - the 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War 1914-18.

This service is open to anyone and everyone, of all faiths or none, and from all races and backgrounds. Names for the roll call can be sent to 'A Different Remembrance' 24 Fonton Hall Drive, Sutton-in-Ashfield, NG17 1LD to arrive no later than Saturday 8th November, with full contact details in case of needing clarification.

Last year the first non-religious service of this nature was held in the Crematorium chapel in Mansfield on the 11th November at 2 pm. At 11 am that same morning, a queue gathered outside the same chapel expecting the service to be at 11 am.

There was no wish to try to draw people away from the 'traditional' services, but it became obvious that there was a 'demand'. I do not deem there to be a conflict of interests between religious or non-religious ceremonies of any kind.

My idea to offer a service last year came from the one held in London in Russell Square in remembrance of those who died on the bus blown up during the bombings of 7th July which affected people of all faiths and non. Similarly, war affects all indiscriminately.

These services are instigated by me and have no connection with the British Humanist Association.

Any enquires should be made to me. In closing, I hope that those who offer a name to be read at the roll call, can be informed to bring a single flower, red or white (any) short stem with a label tied to it on the day.

Those flowers will become part of the service. I am indebted to the registrar of the Cemeteries and Crematorium for permission to hold this service.

Thank you for reading this, I hope I can build on last years progress in offering services for all, services without preaching.


Celebrant, BHA.