Norfolk County Standard Bearer Ken Thomas, Norfolk County Council Members of Youth Parliament Cameron Hodds and Fee Robinson, Royal British Legion County Chairman John Boisson
Norfolk’s Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) have penned a heartfelt message to go on a wreath that will be laid in Ypres in remembrance of the end of the First World War 100 years ago.
Two of Norfolk County Council’s MYPs, Cameron Hodds and Fee Robinson, met up with the county’s representatives of the Royal British Legion (RBL) who will be making the trip to Belgium this week to commemorate the last 100 days of the war.
The RBL’s County Chairman John Boisson and Norfolk County Standard Bearer Ken Thomas will take the wreath on their two-day tour of WWI battlefields and cemeteries in the Legion’s biggest event in modern history.
Cameron Hodds said that Norfolk’s four MYPS were honoured to have the opportunity to show their gratitude on behalf of their generation: “The Royal British Legion have given us a chance to prove just how appreciative the Norfolk youth are of those who fought – and those who fell – during World War One and recognise what they gave up for us to have good lives.”
To mark ten years since the end of WWI, in 1928 the British Legion (as it was known) organised for veterans and war widows to visit the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres before marching to the Menin Gate in Ypres on August 8. Exactly 90 years later, the Great Pilgrimage 90 tour will culminate in representatives parading their branch Standard and wreaths to the Menin Gate for the One Hundred Days ceremony to commemorate the final 100 days of WWI.
Mr Boisson said: “As well as commemorating the fallen of WWI, who are inscribed on our many War Memorials, we will be saying ‘thank you’ to the entire generation who lived through the war, served, sacrificed and changed our world. This includes those men, women and
children who supported the war effort on the home front here in Norfolk.
“As Norfolk’s MYPs represent the young people of our county, it is particularly poignant that they have composed the message for the label that will grace the County’s wreath to be laid at the Menin Gate. The words are hugely fitting and a tribute to themselves and all those they represent.”
Cllr Keith Kiddie, Armed Forces champion for Norfolk County Council, said: “It is touching that our Members of Youth Parliament have taken such an interest in the commemorations for the First World War. Their words are a simple and powerful reminder of the sacrifices that families across Norfolk and the country made, and will help keep the memories alive for younger generations.”
MYPs are non-party political and raise issues that are affecting young people. They work with local councillors and MPs and take part in national debates.
Cameron Hodds represents East Norfolk and Fee Robinson represents North Norfolk.
“100 years later we still remember those who fell fighting for the values we take for granted.
As the young people of Norfolk, we still remember because without them, our lives would not be what they are.”
(words for the wreath written by Norfolk MYPs)