Shining a light to remember the fallen
The names of nearly 14,000 Liverpool men who lost their lives during World War One will be beamed on to the ground at Exchange Flags from Tuesday 6 November.
The poignant tribute forms part of the city’s 2018 Service of Remembrance commemorations, with the scrolling carpet of names visible each evening up to, and including, Sunday 11 November. The location has been selected as it was where local residents queued up to post the names of their fallen relatives during the First World War.
A number of other events will be taking place across the city centre in the lead up to Liverpool’s Service of Remembrance which takes place on Sunday 11 November – this year marking a century since the Great War ended. They include:
- The Hall of Remembrance in Liverpool Town Hall will be open to the public from 9am to 9pm from Tuesday 6 November until Sunday 11 November. Two life-size silhouettes of a First World War ‘Tommy’ will be permanently stationed there as a mark of respect to those who didn’t make it home from war. Visitors to the Town Hall will also be able to write a message of ‘thank you’ to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. A large poppy will adorn the front of the Town Hall.
- A special showreel featuring real footage of Liverpool during World War One will be shown in the Town Hall from the 6 to 10 November, and on an outdoor screen on St George’s Plateau ahead of the main service on Sunday. This is Our Time shows the Pals lined up on St George’s Hall plateau as well as shots of soldiers boarding a train at Lime Street Station.
- St Johns Beacon will become a focal point on the 10 and 11 November as the 138metre tall structure is lit-up with specially designed poppy lighting which will make it look like a field of poppies.
- A portrait of World War One soldier and poet Wilfred Owen, created by artist Anthony Brown, will be projected onto the side of a building on Skelhorne Street (next to The Crown pub) in tribute to the historic figure. It will be on display on the nights of 10 and 11 November and has been located opposite Lime Street Station as this is where the majority of soldiers left the city, with many of them never returning home.
Sunday’s event which takes place outside St George’s Hall will start around 10.30am when parades will start to form-up on the plateau. A small number of serving personnel will dress in traditional World War One uniforms to lead the initial parade onto the plateau.
The Archbishop of Liverpool will then give his ‘Thought for Remembrance Day’, actress Sue Johnston OBE will read Wilfred Owen’s poem Anthem for Doomed Youth.
There will be contributions from The Band of the Duke of Lancaster Regiment and classical singer Danielle Louise Thomas and the Last Post will lead into the two minute silence at 11am.
Thousands of poppies will drop from the roof of St George’s Hall, and for the first time thousands of petals will also fall from the top of St Johns Beacon.
Former Royal Marine, Andy Grant, will then talk about his experience of war, and how his life changed forever after being injured by an IED and subsequently losing his leg.
Following this, wreaths will then be laid at the Cenotaph and the service will conclude with a short parade and march past, after which individuals will be invited to lay their own wreaths.
British Sign Language is available at the service.
Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Christine Banks, said: “This year is a momentous milestone in our remembrance commemorations as it’s 100 years since the end of the First World War.
“It’s important to give people as many opportunities as possible to remember and reflect on the sacrifices that were made for us a century ago. Just to stand in Exchange Flags and see 14,000 names scrolling across the floor will give a sense of the scale of loss experienced in this city alone. These aren’t just names – they were someone’s father, someone’s son and someone’s brother – part of someone’s family.
“We hope to welcome visitors to the Hall of Remembrance in the run up to the 11 November, and record their thoughts and feelings in our special commemorative ‘Thank You’ book.
“Crowd numbers for Liverpool’s official Remembrance Sunday service have gown year on year, and it makes me hugely proud that this is one of the most important events in the city’s calendar.
“With Sue Johnston reading a poem which reflects on the horrors of war and the poppy petal drop it will undoubtedly be an emotional service, and I encourage as many people as possible to come along on Sunday, wear their poppy with pride and show their support for our service personnel, their families and friends, and the hard work and dedication of the Royal British Legion.”
On being part of the service, Andy Grant said: “For many years since leaving the Marines. I have always looked forward to Remembrance Day and the service at St Georges Hall as it has not only an important occasion to remember those who went before us, but it keeps strong ties with fellow servicemen and friends I have served with over the years.
“To be able to address the huge crowd and share a little of what I have went through during my service is a real honour and again such a nice day for family and friends to get together and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice both in the world wars and more recent conflicts.”
Anyone who wishes to write in the ‘Thank You’ book but is unable to visit the Town Hall can email their message to [email protected]. Members of the public can also search for their relative’s name on the Roll of Honour, and have the opportunity to order a certificate bearing the name of their relative.
All the events form part of Liverpool 2018’s Brittle Heart season which commemorates the anniversary of the end of the war. Other events include the sold out Britten War Requiem performance by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Hannover NDR Philharmonic. To see a list of events taking place across the Liverpool City Region, visit www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/brittle-heart.
This year’s Remembrance Service is being supported by Radio City and St Johns Market.
Please note that on Sunday 11 November the following closures will be in place:
7am-1pm – William Brown Street to Lime Street
William Brown Street to Old Haymarket
9.30am-1pm – Lime Street
St George’s Place
St John’s Lane
Churchill flyover, north and south, remains closed, and access to the city will be limited once Lime Street is closed.
Queens Square Bus Station will also be closed from 9.30am to 1pm. For further details on affected bus services and routes, visit www.merseytravel.gov.uk.