The Union Flag from the Oxfordshire
Repatriation Garden was handed over to Rev James Maddern in a ceremony
during the 9.15 am service in St Britius on 12 April 2015.
Cllr Norman MacRae, MBE, Chairman of West Oxfordshire District
Council spoke as follows:
"Rev James, Deputy Lieutenant, Chairman of the Parish
Council, ladies and gentlemen.
The flag presented today, is the Union Flag that has graced the Memorial
Garden since day 1, with the exception of the actual day of a
Repatriation when the flag that was used at the then Wotton Basset
ceremonial is used.
The Memorial Garden, being sited as it is in your parish, has become
an important, if not vital part of the Repatriation Day, providing a
place where regimental colleagues, friends, family and the members of
the public of this District and beyond can come together and pay their
respect and compliments to the fallen and their families.
Today is, for me, and l am sure many of you, a day tinged with both
sadness and gratitude! Sadness in that we need a place to greet
our fallen service personnel; a son or daughter; a mother or father; a
brother or sister who has lost their life service this country of ours.
Gratitude in that we, as a District, have provided a place where all can
come and show support.
l am acutely conscious of the part your parish plays on Repatriation
Day. As already mentioned, the Memorial Garden is here, but you do more
than that. l know you stand in respect along Brize Norton Road paying
respect; refreshment is provided in your public house. For all of that,
as Chairman of your District Council, l give you all, each and every one
residing here, my heartfelt thanks, on behalf of not only myself, but of
each and every member of each and every family of the fallen
Returning to the present day. The Afghan conflict for our troops is
now over. The Union Flag that has ﬂown at the Memorial Garden has become
worn, faded and torn and needing replacing. It is fitting that it be
replaced. It was obvious to me that the appropriate resting place for
this symbol should be in its parish church - here in St Britius.
Accordingly, please accept this flag and all that it has represented
over the years."
Our two pictures show the framed display that will be mounted below
the Union Flag to explain its origin and purpose and the assembled group
at the handing over service. Pictured are Mr Brian Crossland
Deputy Lieutenant Oxfordshire holding the display, Cllr Norman MacRae
holding the Union Flag, Mrs Maxine Crossland Deputy Chair West
Oxfordshire District Council to the left of her husband, Rev James
Maddern, Mr Michael Henderson Royal British Legion and Mr Alex Postan
Brize Norton and Shilton Ward District Councillor and his wife to the
right. Others present included Cllr Keith Glazier, Chair of Brize
Norton Parish Council and Mrs Lynne Shuker, British Legion Repatriation
Liaison Officer and members of the congregation of St Britius.
Photos of St Britius
white drawing (jpg)
white drawing (gif)