Picture gallery: Floral tributes as Gorleston marks the centenary of World War One
15:16 04 August 2014
Archant Norfolk © 2014
The innocence and youth of the young men sent to the battlefields of World War One was remembered in Gorleston today.
Residents gathered at the Sword of Sacrifice memorial in the town’s old cemetery to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the conflict, and remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and those who suffered both at home and in the trenches.
Tears were shed as readings and prayers were said in the bright summer sunshine and silence fell as dignitaries, including Mayor of Great Yarmouth Marlene Fairhead, and Royal British Legion members placed a wreath and floral tributes at the foot of the memorial.
Each member of the congregation was also handed a single white and pink bloom to place on the white stone and queued patiently to pay their respects.
Linda Ricketts, vicar of St Mary Magdalene, led the service with Nick Ktorides, curate at St Andrew’s Church.
Rev Ricketts said: “One hundred years ago St Mary Magdalene didn’t exist, it would have been farmland. But this is in my parish now and I wanted to mark today. It’s important for all of us.
“I think pink and white [flowers] speaks of the youth and innocence of all the boys - not even young men - that fought and died in the First World War who should have never have been there.”
She added: “We remember those who were killed in action, or by disease, the bereaved, the lost, the families who were shattered, the wounded, maimed and injured and those who held in silence unspeakable memories of warfare.”
Irene and Paul Williams, from the Great Yarmouth branch of the Royal British Legion, performed readings before the congregation recited the Lord’s Prayer together.
■ A special candle-lit vigil is being held at Great Yarmouth Minster tonight from 10.30pm. The flames will be extinguished at 11pm to mark the moment Britain’s ultimatum to Germany passed.