Candles have been lit and placed at Commonwealth War graves in Germany during commemorations to mark the centenaries of the Royal Air Force and the First World War armistice.
More than 50 people were at Becklingen War Cemetery and Hannover Commonwealth Cemetery in the state of Lower Saxony on October 12, placing candles next to graves. They comprised British, German and Dutch military as well as civilian personnel.
Pam Flora MBE, a member of the Armed Forces charity SSAFA and chairperson of Bielefeld and Gütersloh branch, is calling the idea Candles in the Wind.
After noticing a lack of candles at war graves in the Netherlands, Pam wants it to become a regular feature of remembrance.
"Everyone is here to take part, lots of friends from the community in Bielefeld, to make this day work,” she said.
A Service of Remembrance led by Padre Richard Downes and a full military ceremony was held at both sites, where a wreath was laid. Participants also placed a rose on a grave of their choice.
RAF representative, Squadron Leader Steve Parlor, who found the experience thought-provoking, said: “Particularly what brings it home to me is when I see commemorative stones of crews. We forget just how young some of these Royal Air Force personnel were.”
Pam Flora wants Candle in the Wind to continue and believes the lighting of candles would enhance Remembrance Day commemorations.
She said: “I feel that the community will already be here to commemorate the service each year and then it's not putting an extra burden on anyone to light our candles the same day and the project will live because the candle is a light for the soul.”
Both Becklingen War Cemetery, located on the Lüneburg Heath near Soltau, and Hannover commonwealth cemetery, located in the town of Seelze close to Hannover, were built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who continue to look after them today.
The culmination of Centenary Year will be on November 11 when the United Kingdom marks the signing of the armistice between the Allies of the First World War and Germany and the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front.