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)
10th July (Saturday) – please note the date change, previously 3rd July
4th September (Saturday)
11th November (Thursday)
8th January 2022 (Saturday)
Latest 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 ! But this time there is NO need to register for the FREE TICKETS ! 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
Update – 1st May 2021 – Some great news. The next Page Turning ceremony and it will be held on Saturday, 8th May in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford starting at 11.00 am. It is suggested that your arrival time be 10.30 am.
Due to current restrictions the maximum allowed attendance will be 70 persons. In order to attend you need to register for a FREE TICKET using the following link – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/turning-of-the-pages-may-2021-tickets-152023491355
For those who feel the risk is still too great to attend in person, the Cathedral will be live streaming the Ceremony with a YouTube link starting at 10.45 a.m. – https://youtu.be/5goQQT71rT0
Update – 1st March 2021 – With the continuing Covid-19 restrictions Christ Church cathedral are again planning to hold the service, being held on Saturday, 6th March 2021 in a limited capacity and offer a virtual experience to watch the proceedings live or at a latter time (whichever suits your needs).
The YouTube link is https://youtu.be/QeEYxsiA2zo
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 on Saturday 10th July 2021:-
First World War 1914-1918
Robert Norman Webb Died of wounds at Rifle Wood, Somme on April 2nd 1918, aged 23
Charles White Killed at Gillemont Farm, Somme on May 20th 1917, age unknown
Christopher Arthur Williams Killed at Gillemont Farm, Somme on May 23rd 1917, age unknown
Frederick John Wilson Died in France on July 16th 1915, aged 18
Henry Wood Died in France on April 21st 1915, aged 25
2nd World War 1939-1946
Ernest Edward Woodruff Died in England on November 30th 1944, aged 27
Joseph Dennigan Died at Tonchan, Thailand on December 18th 1942, aged 28
Brian Alexander Edwards Died on board PoW ship on September 21st 1944, aged 24
Eric Gordon Died at Sigapore on August 6th 1943, aged 23
John Thomas Harvey Died on board PoW ship on June 22nd 1944, aged 27
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, thank you.
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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