PENGE: WHISTLE FOR THE SOMME
Army Cadets from Penge will be leading the community service to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme this Friday.
On July 1, 2016 cadets from 101 (Penge) Cadet Detachment will be participating in the 7.30am “Whistle for the Somme” service at Penge War Memorial, High Street, Penge which will include whistle bursts followed by a one minute silence, to observe the start of the Battle of the Somme. As part of the service there will be a reading of names of Penge residents who died or became casualties over the five month battle in 1916.
The format for the morning of Friday 1st July is as follows:
0715 hrs – Introduction and readings. Including reading the names of Penge residents who became casualties.
0730 hrs – 3 whistle blows to indicate the exact time when soldiers went “over the top”. This replicates the signal which was used in the front line trenches 100 years ago. A one minute silence will follow.
0732 hrs – Prayers and blessing by Rev Nigel Poole, St John’s church, Penge.
As News From Crystal Palace has previously reported, ceremonies were initially being planned at five war memorials across the borough but not in Penge.
Asked by News From Crystal Palace why Penge had not been included Cllr Nicholas Bennett said: “As I am organising this I had to take a decision to have just five location as I have limited time.”
Detachment commander 2nd Lt Chris Dreyfus told News From Crystal Palace: “My partner saw a post on one of the Penge Facebook groups that Penge hadn’t been included in the event being organised by the borough.
“As my detachment covers Penge, I thought it would be a great way to kick start the commemorative weekend.
“One of the roles of the cadet forces is to provide a uniformed presence in the community whilst our armed forces are committed elsewhere.
“The training syllabus for our cadets includes studying and reflecting on key battles in the army’s history.
“Events such as these, and more generally Remembrance Sunday, provide a link for cadets to the past and an opportunity for personal reflection.”
The Battle of the Somme saw 57,470 casualties and almost twenty thousand deaths on the first day alone and has been noted as the bloodiest day in history for the British Army.
“This is a monumental date in the history of World War One and it is only fitting that the Army Cadet Force, along with the local community come together to remember and pay their respects on this anniversary.”
War Memorials in the borough of Bromley where Whistle for the Somme is due to take place at 7.15am on 1July:
Beckenham, junction of High Street/Croydon Road, BR3 1BN
Bickley St Georges, Bickley Park Road, BR1 2BE
Biggin Hill War Memorial, Main Road, TN16 3DY
Bromley War Memorial, Martins Hill, Church Road, BR2 0EG
Chislehurst War Memorial, Bromley Road, BR7 5PH
Keston War Memorial, Heathfield Road, BR2 6HU
Orpington War Memorial, High Street, BR6 0NQ
Penge War Memorial, High Street, SE20 7HB
St Mark’s Church, Bromley, Westmoreland Road, BR2 0TB
St Mary’s Church Shortlands, Kingswood Road, BR2 0HG
West Wickham War Memorial, Corkscrew Hill, BR4 9QT
St. Mary’s Church, St. Mary Cray High Street, BR5 3NL
The Army Cadet Force is a national voluntary youth organisation for boys and girls aged 12 to 18 years old. It is sponsored by the Army and provides challenging military, adventurous and community activities. Its aim is to inspire young people to achieve success in life with a spirit of service to the Queen, their Country and their local community, and to develop in them the qualities of a good citizen. Launched in 1859, the ACF has over 41,000 cadets nationally. Within South East London the Army Cadet Force has approximately 30 detachments that cover the six boroughs of Lewisham, Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich, Southwark and Lambeth.
101 (Penge) Cadet Detachment is the ACF unit covering Penge, Sydenham and Beckenham. Cadets meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 7pm to 9.30pm. We are currently recruiting both cadets and adult volunteers. You can find us on Twitter @PWRRCadets and on Facebook by search 101PWRR.