The Turning of the pages ceremony is an important link between todays Regiment and our forming and antecedent Regiments. By this simple ceremony we recall the debt, we as a Regiment and as a nation owe to the ‘Riflemen’ of yesterday, who gave their lives in the service of their country, their regiments and their comrades.
Representatives from The Rifles go, once a month to Cathedrals, Churches and Abbeys in Winchester, Oxford and Sherborne, to read out names of the fallen from Regimental books of remembrance and to turn the pages for the coming month, displaying a different section of names of the fallen that visitors can view and perhaps pause a while and think on the sacrifices made by previous generations for our lives today.
Turning of the pages is a simple ceremony, the church is called to silence; selected names read out, and two minutes of silence are conducted in mark of remembrance; then those assembled carry on with the daily business.
It is often attended by school groups and the general public as well as serving and former soldiers.
For The Rifles it is a public expression of thanks and remembrance by today’s Regiment, for those that have gone before and paid the ultimate sacrifice, and to the communities from which they came, for the sacrifice and loss they too have suffered.
The ceremony is carried out in Winchester Cathedral on the third Tuesday of every month at 11am, at Christ Church Oxford and at Sherborne Abbey in Dorset during the second or third week of each month between 1045 – 1100am. They are open to all to attend and confirmed dates and times can be obtained by contacting the church administrators at each of these locations.