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Page Turning Ceremony

Page Turning of the Books of Remembrance Ceremony

In conjunction with Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral authorities, the regimental trusts of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry and Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, hold a bi-monthly service of Page Turning. This is a very pleasant, but poignant occasion which involves turning the page of the respective Books of Remembrance (which are held in locked glass cabinets within the Military Chapel of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford) and reading out the names of officers and soldiers who have given their lives during both World War One and World War Two – 5 names for each war and regiment.

This short service is normally carried out in the Military Chapel within the Cathedral and takes place on a Saturday at 11am.   Participants (nominated readers) are usually expected to be in place for 10.45am and anyone wishing to attend is advised to be early to claim one of the limited number of seats.  Anyone who wishes to join with us, in remembering these gallant men, are very welcome, especially family members of the men whose name are being read.  On some special days (such as the 11 November-Armistice day) the ceremony will be held in the main body of the cathedral.  This usually brings a larger audience and the start time is usually 10.30am.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020 was one of these ‘special’ days when the service was carried out on a working day.  It was extra-special in that it coincided with the lockdown, enforced by the Covid-19 virus, when the service was held without any congregation – just a select number of readers and Christ Church Cathedral ministers and organist.  But the Cathedral authorities had thought about this and arranged for it to be filmed, then placed on YouTube for all to watch, see, and follow the service.    To see this video click on this link –    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP9icPouClM&t=1s

The Trustees of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Trust, following a fund-raising event, had 3 Altar Kneelers manufactured for use in the Military Chapel.  They were made in the colour of Mantua Purple with the Queen Adelaide Cypher embroidered upon them.  At a previous Page Turning ceremony – 6th May 2017 – the kneelers were positioned at the altar and were then dedicated.

Future  Dates  and  names  to  be  read  for  the  ceremonies

Dates for 2021 are as below: –

9th January 2021 (Saturday)  – Please note change of date !!

6th March (Saturday)

8th May (Saturday)

3rd July (Saturday)

4th September (Saturday)

11th November (Thursday)

8th January 2022 (Saturday)

Latest Update – 4th Jan 2021 – Christ Church cathedral have just released the details of their planned broadcast of the service happening on Saturday, 9th January 2021.

The YouTube link is https://youtu.be/_O9jwYjCTMs

UPDATE – 18/12/2020 – The next Page Turning event (which was due to have been held on 2nd January 2021) is now taking place on Saturday, 9th January 2021

As with the former event, held in November, the service will be held under the restrictions laid down by the COVID-19 pandemic rules.  The service is being adapted and the only persons in attendance will be the Readers, of the names to be read out, and cathedral clergy with NO CONGREGATION.

The service is to be broadcast on YouTube again (the prime reason for the date-change).  At present we’re not sure if the link will be the same the previous event, which was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP9icPouClM&t=1s , but will be updated here when known.  The names of the OY/QOOH soldiers being read out can be found below, when known.

However, Canon Brian Shenton has suggested that we can all remember at home those whose names would have been read at the same time we should have met in Oxford.  

Below, are listed the names which will be read out:-

First World War  1914-1918

Herbert Stevens                             Died in England on June 14th 1915 aged 29
Thomas George Stevens                Killed in action at Gillemont Farm on June 22nd 1917 aged 19
Frank Leonard Brandon Stuart    Died in France on November 19th 1918 aged 32
Daniel Swift                                    Died of wounds at Drocourt-Queant Line on September 6th 1918 aged 24
Frederick John Thomas                 Died of wounds at Wharncliffe War Hospital on May 21st 1918 aged 23

2nd World War  1939-1946

Reginald Ernest Butler                 Died in England on January 18th 1947 aged 29
Thomas Henry Davies                  Died in England on October 21st 1943 aged 19
Albert Edward Dumbleton          Died in England on May 6th 1940 aged 29
Anthony Gillgunn                         Died in England on August 8th 1941 aged 22
Harry Leno                                    Died in England on November 12th 1940 aged 40

All interested parties were working towards, hopefully, having the Armistice Day service on Wednesday 11th November 2020, to be held in the cathedral again.

With the Coronavirus Covid-19 restrictions returning, the ‘normal’ Page Turning services held at Christ Church cathedral, have been placed on hold again.

When ‘normal-service’ is resumed, can I remind anyone wishing to attend the service at Oxford’s Christ Church cathedral that the service begins at 11:00hrs and people are requested to be seated by 10:45, thank you.

The location for Christ Church Cathedral (beyond the college entrance), St Aldates, Oxford.

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