AS the Mayor of Taunton Deane's Chaplain I was recently invited to the first planning meeting at the council offices to plan this year's Remembrance Services.

This year being the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War and 100 years since the establishment of the Royal Air Force, a number of changes have had to be made from the traditional events.

On Thursday, November 8 at 11am “The Dedication of the Field of Remembrance” will take place at the War Memorial adjoining St Mary Magdalene Church, Taunton, to remember those who gave their lives in the First World War.

There will be an opportunity for those who wish to place their small Remembrance crosses in the turf at the foot of the memorial.

Following the service those attending are invited to join the Mayor at the Normandy Stone in Vivary Park, where the British Legion Chaplain will conduct a short service.

The Civic Service for Remembrance Sunday will again take place at the town church of St Mary Magdalene, Taunton.

However, in order to ensure that those involved will need to be at the War Memorial in Vivary Park in time for the two minutes silence, the service will this year start at 9.15am at St Mary's.

The service will be followed by a March Past of the uniformed organisations who will have been involved in the Church service.

While attending this planning meeting, I took the opportunity to raise with those present my concern by pointing out that the two War Memorials, one adjoining St Mary's Church and the other the Burma Memorial in the town centre, were a disgrace not only to the town but to the young men of Taunton who willingly gave their lives.

The stones had gathered much grime, dirt and pollution over the years and it was now impossible to read the names commemorated on the stones.

I requested that the council employ professional contractors to clean and restore these two memorials.

As a result, I now wish to thank the council officers and staff who were responsible for putting this work in hand.

To see either of these memorials standing proud during the day and highlighted at night is a fitting tribute to the town and to those who gave their lives voluntarily to enable us to enjoy the pleasure of living in this great county of Somerset.

A splendid Remembrance!