Monday, 17 November 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP hails huge success of remembrance project in Parliament

This week, Local MP Stephen Metcalfe invited and organised a Parliamentary reception for some of the key members behind the successful “Forget Never, Oublier Jamais, Vergessen Niemals” Project.

Jonathon and Jade at the Festival of Remembrance
Launched by Stephen Metcalfe earlier this year, the Forget Never project is a World War 1 Commemorative project linking the twinning towns of Basildon, Meaux and Heiligenhaus in France and Germany. News of the project spread rapidly and eventually had involvement from a variety of local community members, including schools, businesses, historians, artists, authors and the Basildon Heritage Group.

The unique nature of this project, as recognised by the Lottery Heritage Fund who have awarded the project over £50,000, is that it brings together the three twinning towns to create a tri-lingual commemoration of the centenary. The project will continue to explore what life was like in the three townships; attitudes from the three points of view and, most importantly, allow us to remember the people – those who died, those who suffered incredible injuries and of course those who survived and kept the communities running during this important period in our history.

The success of the Forget Never project was recognised this month, when it was invited to be part of the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall last Saturday, on the eve of Remembrance Sunday. Jonathon Horst 18 from Velbert, Germany and Jade Petchey 19 from Southend were honoured to be chosen and represented the project delivering the Anglo/German tribute in the finale at the festival.

Jonathon and Jade presented the President, Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, of the Royal British Legion with a poppy posy which was laid on top of the regimental drums in the centre of the auditorium. The two youths then addressed the audience reading a pray in both English and German.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “This project really has gone from strength to strength. From its humble local beginnings, it has now been recognised at a national level, and I feel truly privileged to have been a part of it.”

“The team behind it have been truly incredible, and I know they all swelled with pride on Saturday evening. I would like to thank them for helping make our local community a key part of the national commemoration festival.”

Owing to the success of the project, Stephen Metcalfe was keen to organise a reception for some of the key members of ‘Forget Never’ in Parliament earlier this week. Project members were treated to a tour of the Palace of Westminster, and Stephen personally thanked them all for bringing his original idea to life.