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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 2022 and 2023 are as below: –

8th January 2022 (Saturday)

         5th March 2022 (Saturday)

         7th May (Saturday)

         9th July (Saturday)

         3rd September (Saturday)

         11th November (Friday)

         7th January 2023 (Saturday)

         4th March (Saturday)

         6th May (Saturday)

Latest Update – 3rd November 2021 – A reminder that the 11th November event will be held on Thursday (Armistice Day).  The service will held in the body of the cathedral and usually attracts a larger congregation.  Also the event starts earlier and begins from 10.30 am.  The Covid regulations are still allowing us to hold these events providing we remember to Social Distance and wear masks to help protect each other.  The Cathedral will be providing live streaming which may be viewed at the same time or viewed later as a video of the proceedings. The link is – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtwNBkLCn6Q

18th August 2021 – With Covid still with us these events are still being held with a congregation allowed to be present.  The next event takes place on Saturday, 4th September 2021.  Attendees are asked to remember to ‘Social Distance’ and wear masks to help protect each other.  The Cathedral will be providing live streaming which may be viewed at the same time or viewed later as a video of the proceedings. The link is – https://youtu.be/FTK1hKnbU8A

Update – 19th June 2021 – Following on from the advancement of the previous event, this next service will be held live again with a limited congregation of 70 persons.  Although we are still working under Government Covid-19 restrictions, the Turning the Pages ceremony will be held in Christ Church Cathedral at 11.00 A.M. Saturday 10th July 2021. Please note the change of date – previously July 3rd !  For those not wishing to attend in person, the Cathedral will be providing live streaming which may be viewed at the same time or viewed later as a video of the proceedings. The link is https://youtu.be/oZUFotUtEVc

Videos made at previous Page Turning events are still available to watch.  The links to view are :-

Saturday, 8th May 2021 – https://youtu.be/5goQQT71rT0

Saturday, 6th March 2021 – https://youtu.be/QeEYxsiA2zo

Saturday, 9th January 2021 – https://youtu.be/_O9jwYjCTMs

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 on Saturday 5th March 2022 :-

First World War  1914-1918

Bert Atkins                                              Killed in action at Rifle Wood on April 1st 1918, aged 20
George Avery                                          Killed in action at Rifle Wood on April 1st 1918, aged 32
Thomas Henry Ayris                              Killed in action at Gillemont Farm on June 22nd 1917, aged 19
Joseph Edward Batchelor                      Died of wounds at Vlamertinghe on April 28th 1915, aged 27
William Alexander Smith Bayliss         Killed in action at Gillemont Farm on July 5th 1917, aged 31

2nd World War  1939-1946

Ronald Cecil Brooke Greville               Missing after escape at Singapore on February 15th 1942, aged 33
Gordon Leslie James Hankin               Killed in action at Boxmeer, Holland on November 17th 1944, aged 25
John James Hatchett                             Missing after escape at Singapore on February 15th 1942, aged 26
Peter Vernon Hornsby                          Died of wounds in England on November 1st 1945, aged 26
Richard Houston                                   Killed in action near Munster on March 30th 1945, aged 32

With the Coronavirus Covid-19 restrictions still applying, the ‘normal’ Page Turning services held at Christ Church cathedral have been adapted, allowing a limited congregation.  Those wishing to attend are warmly welcomed as long as the Social Distancing rules are recognised, with the wearing of masks advised, thank you.

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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