|It is appropriate to mark the establishment of a field of white crosses with a ceremony.
We recommend that your Field be laid out prior to any ceremony although you may wish to ceremonially lay one last cross e,g, that of the soldier “Known only to God”.
You may wish to invite the New Zealand Defence Force to help set up your field or involve them in any commemoration or events around Anzac Day.
The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association have developed a DIY tool-kit to deliver commemorative ceremonies.
The toolkit includes protocols, a suggested order of service and sound files. Please click here to access RNZRSA Toolkit.
Field of Remembrance Ceremony at Parliament Grounds.
|Click on the title to link to music and lyrics:
There are many enduring and compassionate poems from the First World War – one the best know is:
In Flanders Field by John McCrae, May 1915
There will be a poem or a verse that resonates with pupils whether by Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen or one of the Anzac soldiers. You can find examples on these websites:
First World War Poetry
Or pupils may wish to write their own poetry for the occasion.
From your research there may be a story of particular importance for your pupils. This could be integrated into your ceremony. It may be the story of one of Fallen from your Field or School; or it could be memories of a soldier who returned to your community.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Although the cross is a Christian symbol the origins of crosses on soldier’s graves dates back to Medieval times. A fallen Knight’s sword would be thrust into the ground to mark his grave. Even in recent times a soldier’s rifle could be used to mark his final resting place.