DOZENS of people gathered under the shade of a tree grown from a chestnut brought home by a war veteran to hear a service commemorating the centenary of the First World War breaking out.
The moving service in Ilkley's Memorial Gardens on a hot and sunny Monday afternoon (August 4) was led at the cenotaph by Father Philip Gray, of St Margaret’s Church, will prayers led by the Rev Patrick Bateman from All Saints Parish Church.
The service was attended by civic dignitaries including Ilkley Parish Council chairman, Andrew Walbank, who spoke at the beginning of the service, and Lord Mayor of Bradford, Ilkley ward councillor Mike Gibbons.
Local Air Training Corps members were also in attendance.
Ilkley parish councillor, Heathcliffe Bowen read poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae, and Fr Grey spoke on how the poppy had not only become a symbol of remembrance, but also of new life.
Many of those attended took shelter from the sun under a large horse chestnut in the gardens, which was grown from chestnuts brought back from France by a Ben Rhydding man, and donated to the gardens as a sapling.
The congregration sang the hymn All People That on Earth Do Dwell.