A big !THANK YOU! to Hereford Cathedral Choir today who are travelling home today from France after taking part in four separate D Day Commemoration events and services over two days.
On Wednesday 5 June, the choir were invited to sing Evensong at L’Abbey aux Dames in Caen.
During the service, a silence was held and wreaths were laid in tribute to those who had given their lives. In attendance were two D-Day veterans, members of the Welsh Guards and a primary school from Croydon.
Thursday 6 June saw the choir start their day by singing in the stunning Bayeux Cathedral at the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance. During the service, which was attended by TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the British Prime Minister, the French Secretary of Defence and other politicians, the choir sang Stanford’s Justorum Animae.
Following a brief meeting with The Prince of Wales, Patron of Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust, and other guests, the choir then made their way to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery. The act of commemoration which took place at the cemetery was attended by many veterans and their families alongside dignitaries and military officials. The commemoration was broadcast by the BBC and the choir were watched across the country as they sang. After the commemoration they had the opportunity to meet a number of veterans from Herefordshire.
Hereford Cathedral Choir ended their trip to France on the seafront at Arromanches. They processed through the town with the gathering crowds stopping to watch as they sang. The choir then took part in a service organised by the local authority featuring military musicians and a fly past from part of the Battle of Britain Squadron.
Revd. Canon Andrew Piper, Precentor at Hereford Cathedral, said:
“For many of us, the most spiritually and emotionally intense experience of the trip was the ecumenical service of commemoration at Bayeux Cemetery. We were seated among the graves of soldiers, not only from allied forces but German forces too. To be in that place and to watch veterans who have made this journey to come and remember their comrades was a privilege. It was humbling and all of us here will remember this day always. It has been a powerful experience for all who have been a part of it.”
The trip was funded by the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust with the support of the Herefordshire Community Foundation and Hereford Cathedral Choir Association.