Descendants and representatives of Flodden to unite 500 years on

A service of peace and reconciliation has been organised to commemorate the passing of five centuries since England and Scotland fought the Battle of Flodden in 1513

Rev David Taverner (left) of Coldstream Parish Church and Rev Rob Kelsey, of Norham Church
Rev David Taverner (left) of Coldstream Parish Church and Rev Rob Kelsey, of Norham Church

Descendants and representatives of those involved in a famous battle are to attend a service to mark its 500th anniversary.

A service of peace and reconciliation has been organised to commemorate the passing of five centuries since England and Scotland fought the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

The service will take place close to the battlefield, at Branxton, the day after the anniversary, on September 10.

It will remember of the 5,000 English and estimated 10,000 Scots who died in the bloody battle.

The casualties included Scottish King James IV, who was the last British monarch to die on a battlefield, and members of almost every Scottish noble family. Communities from both sides of the border will take part in the solemn commemoration.

English army commander the Earl of Surrey will be represented by his 21st century descendant the Duke of Norfolk, and the present-day Earl of Hume will represent his 16th Century counterpart, who led a section of the Scottish army.

The service, which is open to all, will feature an address by Flodden expert Lady Judy Steel, the wife of the former Liberal Party leader David.

The fallen of both sides will be remembered through a series of readings and hymns with peace and reconciliation at their heart.

Both Northumbrian and Scottish Pipes will play at the service and a lone Scottish piper will play Flowers of the Forest, a tune associated with Flodden and traditionally performed as an act of remembrance.

Rev Rob Kelsey, of Norham Church and the priest in charge of Branxton Church, said: “We are seeking to honour those who died on both sides of the conflict. The battle has left a lasting legacy, and especially so north of the border. Part of the point of the solemn commemoration is to build bridges and work together towards a better future.”

Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum project co-ordinator Alistair Bowden, said: “In the whirl of activities being organised to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the battle, it is vital that we don’t lose sight of the human cost of Flodden.

“Thousands of men from both England and Scotland died in what was the biggest ever battle between our two nations.

“The solemn commemoration will remember them and act as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.”

The service will be held in a marquee at the eastern end of Branxton village at 2.30pm. Representatives from nearby towns and villages will paraded will their colours to the marquee as a symbol of togetherness.

A dove made from pressed flowers from local flower festivals held earlier this summer to commemorate the battle will be among the symbols of peace at the service.

 

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