Edward, 101, lays Hanham poppy wreath
Proud Edward Parsons at the memorial in Hanham Photo: Steve Hicks
FORMER Royal Marine Edward Parsons was given the honour of laying a wreath at Hanham’s service of remembrance.
Mr Parsons, 101, from Hawthorn Avenue, was helped by granddaughter Elizabeth to lay the wreath at the war memorial by Hanham community centre on Remembrance Sunday.
He said: “It was a fantastic event and lots of people came up to talk to me to say they remembered me.
“We used to have a Royal British Legion in Hanham that I used to go to but now it’s a sports centre and it feels like it’s fading away as everyone gets older. The nearest one now is in Kingswood and I can’t get there because I can’t drive any more.
“I’ll never forget the war and the chaps I knew that lost their lives. I was there from the age of 19 to 25 and there are very few of us that are still alive now.
“It was a wonderful turn out at the cenotaph for the service. There were more than 200 people. At first they couldn’t find the wreath I had to lay, but eventually they handed it to me and I used my granddaughter like a walking stick to help me.
“I was last asked to do it four years ago and it’s a great honour.”
The service on 14 November was conducted by representatives of local churches, the Kingswood & Hanham Royal British Legion, the Hanham Detachment Army Cadet Force and retired Wing Commander John Ball.
A song, We Will Remember Them, was performed by Jessica Lawrence.
Reverend Steve Dyson, associate vicar of the parishes of Hanham & Kingswood, said the event had also acknowledged those who had died from Covid.
He said: “I was really impressed by the turnout. There were lots of different community organisations represented as well as the local churches.
“Everybody was very respectful in honouring the fallen.
“We also considered that a lot of people will be experiencing loss after the last 20 months of the Covid situation and it was appropriate to mention that at the service too and a bouquet was laid to remember all those who have lost their lives in the pandemic.”