On Friday 15th February 1952 the Oxford Times reported the following:
Despite the short notice, the Proclamation ceremony at Bicester on Friday morning attracted a large crowd to the Market Square. Prominent among those present were many of the young people of the town, represented by the Grammar School and the Modern Secondary School, who attended in force to witness the memorable occasion.
The Clerk to the Council (Mr R.W. Bainton) made as many preliminary arrangements as possible, but it was not until shortly before 11am, the time fixed for the ceremony, that the official Proclamation arrived.
The space on the Square used for the buses had been kept clear, and it was here that Mrs L. Davies, chairman of the Urban Council, read the Proclamation in clear, deliberate tones. Supporting the chairman were members and officials of the Council, the Commanding Officer of the Bicester RAF Station, Sqdn. Ldr. H.M. Sanderson, who brought a contingent of RAF and WRAF personnel, Mr T. Hudson and Mr E.K. Truman (clerk) represented the Ploughley justices, and a representation of the Territorial Army, Sgt. Culter, also attended.
As soon as the Proclamation had been read, the gathering fervently sang a verse of "God Save the Queen," and then quietly dispersed.
At Bicester Parish Church on Sunday the Vicar (Rev. C.P. Cowland Cooper) prefaced the prayers for the Royal Family with a short tribute to the late King. They thought of the Royal Family as fellow members of the Church, he said. One of the parishioners of Bicester had aptly described the King to him when she said: "He was a lovely man." The service closed with the singing of the National Anthem.
The memorial service at Bicester Parish Church today will start at 1:45pm. Today is market day at Bicester, and the Chamber of Commerce is asking all shops in the town and the stalls in Market Square to close from 1:45 to 2:30.
At Bicester Ordnance Depot a memorial services will be held on Sunday at 9:45am at the Graven Hill Theatre, and at 11am and noon at the Globe Cinema, Arncott.
The memorial service at St Edburg’s Church was a united service conducted by the Vicar, Rev. C.P. Cowland-Cooper, and the Methodist Minister, Rev. P.H. Foster. It was attended by members and officials of the Urban and Rural councils, the local detachment of the Red Cross and Cadets, the women’s section of the British Legion, and schoolchildren from all over the town. It included a two minute silence, the beginning and end of which were marked by a siren. A separate service, at the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, was conducted by Father T. Foynes and attended by a large congregation, including the teachers and pupils of St Mary’s School.
At the first Bicester Urban District Council meeting following the events, held on 26th February, the Chairman made a sympathetic reference to the passing of the King and the members stood in silence as a mark of respect. It was then reported that messages of condolence had been sent to the Queen and a reply had been received. The Chairman then moved that the following address be sent to Queen Elizabeth II, which was agreed.
We, the Chairman and Councillors of the Urban District Council at Bicester, beg leave to convey to your Majesty our hearty congratulations on your accession to the throne. We assure you of our loyal devotion and express the hope that you will find happiness and joy throughout your reign. May those joys be yours which your Father, our lately beloved Sovereign, found in the maintenance of the laws of this Realm and in the promotion of the welfare of your Majesty’s subjects throughout the world.