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Hospital hosts remembrance service for those who served

Royal Air Force veteran Ron Flatt laid a wreath at the First World War roll of honour in Bognor Regis.

 

Mr Flatt was one of two individuals to perform the act of remembrance in the town’s war memorial hospital.

 

Sunday afternoon’s service was held around the memorial to those from the town whose sacrifice prompted residents to fundraise for the health facility in 1919 in their memory.

 

The mahogany tribute – which includes 324 names from Private WV Abraham to Sergeant GF Young – was the first item visitors to the hospital saw when they entered the building.

 

It remains in pride of place in the modern hospital. Mr Flatt, president of the town’s RAFA branch, said: “It is very important we keep holding this service.

 

“The men on that roll of honour must never be forgotten. It’s only our generation who can pass on their contribution to the next generation.”

 

RAFA member Cliff Mewett told those present the history of the hospital and the war memorials in Bognor Regis.

 

The first civic memorial was a temporary shrine close to the current Methodist church. It was put up in 1919 and 1920 before a permanent memorial of Cornish granite was installed at the north end of Waterloo Square in the following year.

 

This was later moved to its current site outside the town hall.

 

About 40 people attended the service held by the hospital’s Friends charity and the RAFA branch.

 

They​ were welcomed by Friends’ chairman Brian Knight.

 

He laid the other wreath at the roll of honour.

 

The 30-minute service was taken for the first time by the Rev David Knight, the lead chaplain to the hospital’s operator, Sussex Community Foundation NHS Trust.

 

He said: “In the 35 years I have been a priest, it has been my privilege to be present at many remembrance
services.

 

“In each church and community in which I have served, I look at these lists of young men and it’s still really hard to find words to express how I feel when you see whole generations killed in the First and Second world wars.

 

“I also think of the Falklands and other conflicts in which men have died in service of their country.”

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