Special service in Northampton church to remember “one of the deadliest conflicts in human history”

Joe Heffernan and Dawn Shepherd, Royal British Legion Northampton NNL-140308-183547001
Joe Heffernan and Dawn Shepherd, Royal British Legion Northampton NNL-140308-183547001

Almost 60 people attended a special service in Northampton today, to remember 100 years since British soldiers joined the First World War.

The service at All Saints church was a “solemn commemoration of the hostilities that come with the outbreak of war,” said Revd Dr David McConkey.

During the hour-long service, which began at 2pm, Fr McConkey recounted a brief history leading up to the First World War. He said: “We remember with thanks-giving the nine million combatants - farmers, shopkeepers, sons - who laid down their lives and hopes and dreams, and all their families and loved ones they left behind, during one of the deadliest conflicts in human history.

“The lives of ordinary people were the pawns of oligarchs to play. Making war is part of the human life, to try and defend freedom and justice.

“The lesson from history is that you cannot learn lessons from history.”

Commenting on the service, president of the Royal British Legion in Northampton, Joe Heffernan, said: “The figures of people who lost their lives are frightening, and it brings home the sacrifice that people were making for us to be here today.

“It was a moving sermon today, part of what is becoming a very busy year for us.”

The service was also attended by Northampton mayor, John Caswell, Northampton Labour leader, Les Marriott, Northamptonshire Lord-Lieutenant, David Laing as well as other councillors and local MPs.

Northampton borough council leader, David Mackintosh, also read out a Wilfred Owen poem between prayers and Colonel Ian Keers, OBE, county president of Northamptonshire Royal British Legion, read a New Testament passage.