A HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD Second World War veteran has been publicly thanked for her service to King and country on poignant morning in Bordon.
Connie Murphy was among the hundreds of people who gathered around the war memorial on Saturday for the Whitehill & Bordon Remembrance service.
Rev Wendy Mallas told the crowd that Connie was 17 when she volunteered for the RAF and reported for duty in 1941 with training at Thorney Island.
The nod was among the highlights of a well-organised and attended ceremony which also saw 200 REME soldiers march from The Shed to the memorial.
People gathered, like they do every year, around the landmark and either side of Camp Road to pay their annual respects to the town’s fallen heroes.
But more than a century on from “The Great War” and with battles raging in Ukraine and Gaza, Rev Mallas had a timeless question for the people of Whitehill & Bordon: When will it end?
“Every hour these days we are confronted by images via the media and social communication,” said the vicar to the large crowd around the war memorial.
“But while there are those in the world who seek to abuse power, to control, destroy, oppress and torture, then the simple truth is that we must stand up to defend our freedom and way of life against those who seek to take it away.”
The service organised by Whitehill Town Council with support from volunteers, REME and the Royal British Legion included a two-minute silence and sounding of The Last Post.
Dignitaries and representatives from various groups laid wreaths while Col Mike Pendlington, President of the Bordon branch of the REME Association and WO1 RSM Graeme King from REME read the 69 names of the fallen from the Roll of Honour.
Milada Ilchuk, Oakmoor School head student, and Cadet Lance Corporal Natalie Stokes from the Army Cadets read In Flanders Fields and We Shall Keep the Faith whilst student Nikita Gorham read her own themed poem.
A short service was also conducted at the Canadian Memorial Garden in Budds Lane and at the Military Ceremony in Bolley Avenue with mayor Cllr Leeroy Scott laying a wreath at all three sites.
Cllr Andy Tree thanked the town council, Rev Mallas and the military for their part along with residents for attending.
He added: “Thank you to all residents who came to remember those who left but never came back and those who had to live with the memories of war.”