Friday 23rd March 2018

A Blessing and Remembrance service was held at Hatfield House today to open a Field of Remembrance, which is in place to mark the centenary of the 1918 Armistice. Rector Darren Collins and the Bishop of Hertford Michael Beasley conducted the service. Members of the Royal Navy, the Army, the RAF and the British Legion joined Lord and Lady Salisbury for this poignant occasion.

Over 200 children from six local schools joined the blessing, each planting a cross with a poppy affixed to it in the field. As shown in the accompanying photo the area has been established next to the North Front of Hatfield House, those who wish to join in an act of remembrance are invited to plant a cross in memory of a friend or family member, or to mark the Armistice more generally. The cost of a cross is £2.50 and the proceeds will be distributed between the Royal Navy, the Army, the RAF Benevolent Funds, and the British Legion.

The design of the field itself is a four petal poppy; the outline of each petal is a walkway to enable visitors to go amongst the crosses that are planted.

Like every part of the United Kingdom, Hatfield lost many sons during the Great War and many more suffered its effects for the rest of their lives. Five of Prime Minister Salisbury’s grandsons were killed and 140 from the town of Hatfield and from the Hatfield Estate also lost their lives. To mark the end of the War in 1918, a solemn parade was held on the North Front of Hatfield House.

The field will remain in place in Hatfield Park until mid-November.

You can see pictures from the event here.

Thursday 22nd March 2018

Tuesday 20th March 2018

Lady Salisbury kindly opened the Old Palace Banqueting Hall at Hatfield House to host a coffee morning in aid of St Etheldreda's and Breaks Manor Youth Centre. Over £2000 was raised, well beyond our expectations. Many thanks to Lady Salisbury and all who volunteered.

You can see pictures from the event here.

Sunday 18th March 2018

Dan Cruikshank visited our in church in Hatfield on today with a TV crew making a documentary about the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which will be broadcast in November. The Cecil family from Hatfield House had lost three sons in the Great War and they are commemorated in the beautiful window in the picture. Their mother, Lady Florence Cecil, led fierce opposition to the CWGC, who insisted that the bodies of fallen soldiers could not be repatriated for burial, but she was unsuccessful.