In November, Peterborough Male Voice Choir, Peterborough Voices and Peterborough Youth Choir will commemorate the region’s fallen soldiers and the service and sacrifice of the armed forces with Festival of Remembrance, a moving evening of beautiful melodies and poignant words for Remembrance Sunday, taking place at The Cresset in Peterborough and St Nicholas’ Chapel King’s Lynn, in support of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal
The third event of its kind this promises to be a memorable evening, particularly so in this 75th anniversary year of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy, one of the most remarkable allied wartime operations, when men from all over the world came to fight in Normandy to defeat Nazism and re-establish freedom. While paying tribute to soldiers from America, Britain, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Norway, Poland and Australia who fought to defend Britain’s freedoms, values and way of life – many of them losing their lives during that momentous summer of 1944 – the anniversary represents a momentous occasion to celebrate peace, liberty, reconciliation and to hope for a peaceful future.
Sirens were sounded in Peterborough a total of 650 times during the second world war and the city was among the first to have an air raid, on 8th June 1940, when several small bombs hit the city centre, damaging several shops and the Lido. On 10th May 1941 the city was caught up in the heaviest night of bombing of the entire blitz with bombs falling in the vicinity of the museum, across Priestgate and into Cowgate, killing two fire officers and injuring several people. Peterborough played an important part in the first world war with soldiers and sailors from across the country passing through by rail on their way to the front or home on leave.
Possibly the most famous visitor to Peterborough – one who never left – was Sergeant Thomas Hunter ‘the lonely ANZAC’, who was critically wounded at the battle of the Somme in 1916 and died here, and of course the city has its very own war hero, pioneer of modern nursing Edith Cavell who became probably the most well-known female casualty of the entire conflict. William Prideaux, the choirs’ director says “Peterborough Male Voice Choir has a long history in the city, going back to not long after the first world war when so many local men made the ultimate sacrifice. Given our roots in the local community it seems fitting to mark the occasion with what promises to be a nostalgic evening of wonderful melodies and touching moments, while raising money for a really good cause, the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.”
Festival of Remembrance will be at: ● The Cresset, Peterborough, at 7.30pm on Friday 8th November. Tickets available from the Cresset Box Office, by phone on 01733 265705, or at www. peterboroughsings.org.uk ● St Nicholas’ Chapel, King’s Lynn at 7.00pm on Sunday 10th November. Tickets available from King’s Lynn Corn Exchange Box Office, by phone on 01553 764864 or at www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk
The city’s award-winning choirs return to Peterborough Cathedral on Saturday 14th December with Christmas Magic, the city’s favourite Christmas celebration, performing all your festive favourites in a family friendly matinee at 2.30pm as well as an evening performance at 7.30pm. Early Bird prices available until 1st October, tickets on sale now at www.peterboroughsings.org.uk