Sunday, 12 November 2017

Remembrance Rocks

We've recently been enjoying the new craze that's been sweeping the country, locally named "Norfolk Rocks."
I'm not sure where this craze first started, it has stemmed from Rocks of Kindness as far as I can see.
This involves decorating rocks with paints, permanent markers, glitter or embellishments, basically whatever you can that stays on the rock, many people also varnish their rocks to seal them.

Photo from

Then place them around the area when you are out and about, we've found some that were well hidden and others that have been placed within clear view.
We found our first rock during late summer, just before returning to school and were soon hooked into the craze.

Have a quick search on Facebook and you'll most likely find a painted rocks group in your area. I joined up to Norfolk Rocks (UK) and the excitement grew. 

Hiding and finding these little tokens of kindness, some beautifully painted by toddlers and children, some stunning examples from artistic people, some not so talented (me) but are still fun to find.
Many people like to include a little message of hope or kindness too.
Generally people write on the bottom instructing you to take a photo and put on to the Facebook page, then keep or re hide the rock. Many include a hashtag followed by their name but that's entirely up to you.

Following on from the Ladybird Rocks event we held in early October another event sprang to mind!
Along with my friend and fellow rock enthusiast Ceara (the Photo Queen!) we started the Remembrance Rocks event.

This was to encourage people to paint a rock with poppies or other Remembrance symbols and to place them at the Monument on St George's Park, Great Yarmouth on Saturday 11th November. 
(Not wanting to be in the way during the Remembrance Sunday Service.)

One the day we met up at the Monument at 10.30am, some of our other friends had joined us, as had a few other members from the Norfolk Rocks (UK) Facebook page.

I had taken a few spare rocks and Sharpie pens with us to keep the children busy and for any other members of the public who were interested.

(All photos unless specified otherwise are courtesy of Ceara Manifold.)

We noticed a few official gentlemen gathering, a Veteran, a Vicar, others in uniform and we realised that there was going to be a small service whilst we were there.
Emily then approached one of the men with a poppy rock and passed it to him, telling him what we were doing.

Pretty soon we had him and the Vicar joining in with the rock decorating!

We explained why we were doing this and how it was helping the children to understand what Remembrance Day was really about. It can be such an abstract concept for children nowadays, our children are fortunate enough to live in relative peace and I imagine there are very few who have Grandparents or even Great Grandparents who were around World War 2, let alone World War 1!

The rocks made quite an impact once they were placed, a total of 117 encompassed the Monument in total. (We actually removed these on the day and returned them the next morning at the request of the Officiators who wanted them to be part of the Remembrance Sunday ceremony!)

(these photos courtesy of Nicola Lambert.)

The children took the last of our spare rocks and politely asked the Veteran whether he would like to add to the collection. I will admit this was quite an emotional moment!

We then took part in the small service and observed the two minute silence at 11am. 
As we stood there, children with bowed heads and a few of them holding each others hands, I couldn't help but feel extraordinarily proud of them all.

During the silence I was acutely aware of the general humdrum of everyday life going on around us; the joyous play of children on the nearby play area, the birds, the drone of traffic and it struck me how ironic it was.
This everyday life going on around us and we were seemingly oblivious to it, and how in our world today wars, fighting and terror continue to effect people all around the world and yet we still go on with our lives.

We spent a little more time with those involved in the ceremony, Mr Mason from Norfolk Fire Service and Rev, Ward taking time out from their day to talk to the children and really take an interest in what they were doing. They also took time to pose with the children and the rocks on the monument.

As us parents watched on, pride swelling inside at how mature and respectful the children were behaving, how much they were taking in and the thanks they gave without prompt not only to these men but approaching the Veteran there to Thank him also.

As we cleared up after ourselves I noticed that the children had wandered up to the monument and were quietly reading the names of the fallen soldiers. We gave them some quite so they could take their time. 
My two spotted a familiar surname amongst those honoured on the monument.
A soldier's name - S.D. Millichamp, my maiden name.

Lest We Forget

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful trear jerking article ,,, and what a great learning experience for the children. 🌺🌺