Professor Mark Seaward has this to say about Remembrance Day in Adel:
Adel pulled out all the stops to engage us in various ways to make this a
memorable day – we all participated in a unique experience. Many
attended the morning service at 10.00 a.m. in Adel Parish Church, at
which the Rector officiated and the two-minute silence was observed.
Those like me who braved the elements observed the two-minute silence
at local memorials, either next to the Adel War Memorial Hall or in
Lawnswood Cemetery, the rain adding a sombre overtone for the
attendees, including members of the local Fire Service, at the former site.
Evensong at Adel Church attracted more than double the normal
congregation and included a five minute interlude at 7.00 p.m. when
Armistice Centenary Bells were rung and a most appropriate New
Testament reading ‘Peace I leave with you…’, and concluded with a
splendid rendition by our organist of the Nimrod movement from Elgar’s
Later that day, emotion was further aroused by the Adel Players’
performance to a packed house in Adel Memorial Hall of ‘Coming Home to
Blighty 1918-1928’ – a moving experience for the players and a tour de
force for the audience. For one hour, through memories, poetry and
songs, the local story unfolded from the ‘time when Leeds laughed, sang,
cried and fought its way back into peace, and its soldiers came home to a
changed world’. Eighteen of the Adel men sent into battle never returned,
and the local community at that time chose not to erect a conventional
memorial, but to commemorate their lives in a different way. In
consequence, this small farming community of 400 households, through
determined fund-raising, enabled Adel Memorial Hall and its many acres
of sports fields to be opened as a charitable trust and a vibrant living
memorial to the brave young men that Adel had lost.
It would be wrong of me to pick out particular contributions as every one
of the Adel Players put their hearts and souls into their performances, but
the beautiful rendition of the folksong ‘The Green Fields of France’, the
words and music composed by Eric Bogle after his visit in 1976 to the
battlefields of northern France and Belgium, at the conclusion of the
presentations, followed by a recording of the Benedictus from Karl
Jenkins’ oratorio ‘The armed man – a mass for peace’ sung by the soloist
Haley Westenra left us all spellbound. Even a prolonged round of
applause could barely do full justice to the thought and effort by both the
cast and production team to research, write and deliver such a heartfelt
programme. The significant sum of money raised for the British Legion
and AWMA charities at the performance is duly acknowledged, as was the
time for reflection.
Remembrance Day 2018 was indeed a day to remember!