Remembrance Sunday 13 November 2016

On Sunday 13 November 2016, Basildon remembered and honoured those who sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom. The procession was led by Basildon mayor, David Harrison. Wreaths were laid outside St. Martin’s Church, Basildon followed by a service led by Revd. Esther McCafferty. Ayla and Will from Woodlands School laid a wreath on behalf of the Forget Never – The Somme project.

During the service, the Forget Never – The Somme’s recording of ‘The Padre’ by Fricklesome Amsel and choirs of Lee Chapel Primary School and Beauchamps High School was played.

The recording of ‘The Padre’ took place on 10 June 2016 and you can read about it here

The Sons of Three Countries Remembered in Meaux

Members of Basildon Twinning and five actors from DOT Productions visited Meaux over the weekend of 05 and 06 November 2016, with David Harrison, Mayor of Basildon and his wife. We were also joined by friends from Heiligenhaus, including members of the folk band, Fricklesome Amsel.

In the evening, we attended the performance of ‘The Sons of Three Countries Remembered’ in a theatre in Meaux. It was performed for the first time in Basildon in 2014 and again last year in Heiligenhaus. Members of DOT Productions, Andrew Lindfield, Sophie Farquhar, James Le Lacheur, Christopher Walthorne and Zac Wancke performed with Fricklesome Amsel and two choirs from Meaux.

161005meauxplay97

From left to right James Le Lacheur, Andrew Lindfield, Sophie Farquhar, Christopher Walthorne and Zac Wancke

 

161005meauxplay95

Andrew Lindfield with Fricklesome Amsel – Rike Ullenbaum, Peter Klaus, Hannes Johannsen and Sebastian Zimmerman

 

The play tells the story of three servicemen – one from Wickford, one from Meaux and one from Heiligenhaus.

George Burnett, from Wickford, Basildon Borough was a policeman and member of the Wickford Cricket Club. He rejoined the Coldstream Guards and went missing in action shortly after the beginning of the war. His body was never found.

Albert Kiekert, from Heiligenhaus, was studying to be a lawyer when he joined up. His aeroplane was shot down a few months before the end of the war, killing him and the pilot.

Louis Vallin, from Meaux, worked selling surgical instruments. He joined up just before Christmas 1914 and happily, he survived the war, going on to marry, have children and to found The Association of the Friends of the Air Museum, of which he become vice president. He died in 1971, at the age of 76.

161005meauxplay110

At the Basildon performance in 2014, we were thrilled to welcome Suzanne Vallin, daughter of Louis Vallin. The following year, a descendant of Albert Kiekert attended the performance in Heiligenhaus, as well as Suzanne. This year, we traced members of George Burnett’s family in Sussex, and Karen and Jill, who share a grandfather with George, travelled to Meaux to join us for this year’s performance and of course, Suzanne, who lives in Meaux, was there.

Thomas Rickal, representing Heiligenhaus, Karen and Suzanne laid a wreath in honour of the three ‘Sons’ at the end of the performance.

A memorial plaque similar to that given to the mayor of Meaux earlier in the day was presented to our friends from Heiligenhaus. It is inscribed with the names of men from Basildon, Meaux and Heiligenhaus who died during the First World War.

161005meauxplay114

Members of the cast, friends from Heiligenhaus, Basildon mayor, David Harrison and Laurent Guillaume with the wreath and commemorative plaque that will go to Heiligenhaus.