Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Wootton Bassett: The Town That Remembers

Slightly off the wargame topic for this post, but I had to mention this, so forgive me my ramblings.

Flicking through the TV last night I stumbled on an amazing documentary, "Wootton Bassett: The Town That Remembers". It's the behind the scenes story about the town on the day a British serviceman Aaron McCormick who was killed in action, came home.
Anyone from the UK will know the name of Wootton Bassett, for those who don't,  it's the closest town to RAF Lynham, only 4 miles away. The bodies of deceased servicemen and women of the British Armed Forces are repatriated to RAF Lynham, then pass through the town as part of a funeral cortege, on the way to John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. The family and friends of the service personal often choose to pay their respects at Wootton Basset. As the numbers of deceased increased the processions began to be attended by people from the local area, then people from far and wide.

The town was granted royal patronage in March 2011 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of its role in the military funeral repatriations, which pass through the town. This is the first royal patronage for over 100 years. The only other towns with royal in their title are Royal Lemington Spa and Royal Tonbridge Wells.

It's a very remarkable, emotional and powerful programme, I must admit to getting a little choked up myself watching the programme, the silent crowd standing to attention as it passed through the streets, even the local school kids stand paying their respects. It's a remarkable piece of TV and it's not to be missed.
With all the problems in the world today, this really puts them all into perspective, it made me feel quit proud, proud of the men and women of the armed forces and of the British people.

Two quotes form the programme from Jarra Brown a MoD Police officer, he said, "It's 4-6 miles of so much dignity and respect for the fallen" and " People stop and get out of their cars, you go around the next corner and there are people there"

Here's a link to the BBCi programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0113fjt


Wootten Bassett resident Ken Scott is a 94-year-old World War II veteran who lost comrades in that conflict. Ken regularly stands on the high street to pay respect to the fallen and bring comfort to their families.



  1. Heart rending stuff, and all so young.

  2. Sad to hear a large part of history is gone...

  3. I haven't seen this doco, but I remember seeing a news story on the ABC (our equivalent of the BBC) on this town. Only a 2-3 minute story left me with lump in throat and tears in eyes. I don't think I could watch this documentary without piping my eye!

    It's great that in this cynical and party-political age, ordinary people can still do the decent thing by those who've made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

  4. I only caught the last few minutes Ray so thanks for the iPlayer link. I'll watch it now as I'm just having breakfast. Hope i can hold the tears in!

    It just goes to show the tremendous public support that is just under the surface for the troops fighting and dying many a mile away. Occasionally this surfaces and the respect for the soldiers sacrifice held by most Britons becomes very obvious.

    It really brings tears to me eyes if I'm to be honest.


  5. Ray,I completely agree - it was an outstanding documentary. The final scenes, of Ken Scott going home and slowly completing the entry in his book of remembrance, were heartbreakingly sad and moving. A fine film of a remarkable tribute.

  6. Yeh, that last bit a very emotional, the old soldier, reading through the cards, as though he knew the people personally, a wonderful piece of TV.

  7. not allowed to watch it in Australia damn..

  8. Hi Ray

    A great catch mate

    Heart-rending, emotional, poignant, stirring and uplifting all at once.

    This should really be prime time TV not those crappy soaps/x-factors/so-called reality shows etc


  9. Good post, write about what you want, flex your authorly muscles. I am not watching TV and wouldn't know of this without your post.

  10. Hey I found the colour test and got a 16. That's on a 10.1 inch.

  11. cheers to a true warrior

  12. you quit proud? it sounds like an interesting documentary.

  13. Very sad to see this, here in the states I do not ever recall ever seeing this as a civi or military man... probably even sadder...