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A beacon light, a piper, and tolling bells will sing the Battle's Over

Collingwood will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War in a tribute heard and seen 'round the world.
Collingwood Town Crier Ken Templeman is preparing for the Nov. 11 evening service to commemorate the end of the First World War. The service takes place at Millenium Park in Collingwood. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

It’s been 100 years since the world heard the news, “the battle’s over,” and this year on Nov. 11, Collingwood will be one of 1,000 locations worldwide to mark the war’s end with fire, pipers, a bugler, and ringing bells.

Battle’s Over is an international event organized by Britain’s Pageantmaster Bruno Peek, which takes place on November 11, 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. There are events planned throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Bermuda, France, Belgium, Canada, the United States, and Germany.

Town Crier Ken Templeman has organized the Collingwood events, including an evening service on Nov. 11 at Millenium Park.

“It’s kind of neat … we’re one of the few communities in Ontario participating,” said Templeman. He’s heard of eight other communities planning Battle’s Over events.

The day will begin with pipers playing Battle’s O’er, a traditional Scottish tune played after a battle. In Collingwood, the Bienn Gorm Highlanders Pipe and Drums band will play at the cenotaph at 6 a.m.

The Remembrance Day cenotaph service will include A Cry for Peace, read by Templeman and followed by the band playing Battle’s O’er again. Typically Templeman will wear his legion uniform as the Master at Arms for a Remembrance Day service. This year, he’ll be wearing his Town Crier uniform to mark the Battle’s Over tribute.

The evening service begins with Don Doner playing Last Post on his horn at 6:55 p.m. at Millenium Park.

He will join bugler’s around the globe at more than 1,000 locations who will be playing the Last Post.

At 7 p.m., the Collingwood Fire Department will light the First World War Beacon of Light - a signal fire at the mouth of the harbour.

Templeman called it “a tribute signifying the light of peace that emerged from the darkness of four years of war.”

Also at 7 p.m. the bells of Trinity United Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church will toll 104 times, once for each of the Collingwood soldiers who died and were buried overseas during the First World War.

Templeman will perform A Cry for Peace, then Mayor Sandra Cooper and Mayor-elect Brian Saunderson will read the names of the 104 men and woman who left Collingwood and didn’t return from the war.

Lorne Kenney will recite In Flanders’ Fields and Pipe Major Scott Buchanan of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Regimental Pipes and Drums will play Battle’s O’er.

“It’s a hell of a way to celebrate an anniversary,” said Templeman. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be part of this worldwide celebration.”

For more on the Battle’s Over tribute, click here.


Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter, photographer and community editor.
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