Remembering those who lost their lives 750 years on

As part of my recent engagements I attended a very moving commemoration of the Battle of Evesham which was fought 750 years ago on the 4th of August 1265.

The Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire unveils the commemorative plaque

The Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire unveils the commemorative plaque

This was a particularly gory battle contested between the armies of Simon de Montfort and King Henry III under the command of Prince Edward, as the king had previously been captured. The exact number of casualties is not known but it is believed the armies of de Montfort and the rebel barons lost about 4,000 men.

Although de Montfort himself was killed, he left behind a legacy as the Parliament he had called earlier in 1265 sowed the seeds of democracy in this country.

The sun shone over Abbey Park and the memorial stone, underneath which legend has it that the remains of Simon de Montfort rest.

We were joined on the day by a special guest in the form of John Bercow MP, speaker of the House of Commons, who gave a resounding speech without notes and then proceeded to chat to the children present and sign autographs.

John Bercow MP made a rousing speech

John Bercow MP made a rousing speech

John Bercow MP took time to sign autographs and pose for pictures

John Bercow MP took time to sign autographs and pose for pictures

The Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire also unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.

The person without whom none of this would have happened was also present Iris Pinkstone the founder of the Simon de Montfort Society, although she was a little bruised having had a recent fall and confined to a wheelchair.

Iris Pinkstone the founder of the Simon de Montfort Society

Iris Pinkstone the founder of the Simon de Montfort Society

It was a fascinating day and as well as meeting a host of interesting people I also learnt that the High Sheriff of Worcestershire uses his hat for storing papers as he has no “man bag”.

I look forward to the re-enactment of the battle itself in Crown Meadow on Saturday (August 8) with activities starting from 10am.

You can find more details by visiting http://www.battleofevesham.co.uk

Me with (left) Cllr Linda Robinson, leader of Wychavon District Council and John Bercow MP

Me with (left) Cllr Linda Robinson, leader of Wychavon District Council and John Bercow MP

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