Today, on 12 November 2016 at 12.30PM, members of the War Widows’ Association of Great Britain (WWA), their families, friends, supporters, and guests will gather for the War Widows’ Association’s Annual Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph. We will meet in King Charles Street at noon to walk the short distance to the Cenotaph, where the WWA’s Padre Rev. John Harrison will conduct the service, accompanied by music from the Southern Highlanders Pipe & Drums, and the RAF Halton Volunteer Band.
When the Nation comes together on Remembrance Sunday, it will be to remember all those who have suffered or died in war, but it is essential that those left behind are not overlooked. We have a duty to ensure that Britain’s forgotten women and men, war widows and widowers, are remembered.
The War Widows’ Association’s Chair, Mrs Irene Wills BEM, remarked: “most Remembrance customs originate from the First World War, and yet it is so hard to believe that it took around 80 years for war widows to be allowed to take part in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph. The ladies that formed the Association had a long struggle to ensure war widows and widowers have rightful recognition; it is through their efforts that the Association’s remembrance service has become an established part of the nation’s remembrance calendar.”
Mrs Wills also explained, “our Service is a very important and emotional day for our members. Remaining true to our foundation as a campaigning organisation, the Association has moved forward and can now be summed up in three words: campaigning, caring, remembering. Our service is very much about remembering, and while we remember all who made the ultimate sacrifice, each member here today has very personal memories; there are so many stories to be told. For example the member who never got to celebrate her first wedding anniversary; the member who has to explain to their children why they will never know their father. It is so easy to focus on current conflicts and forget the many that have gone before. Each story is different, and yet we are each united by a common bond.”
WWA members will also attend the National Service of Remembrance on Sunday, 13 November.