Region falls silent for Armistice Day to remember those killed in war
PUBLISHED: 13:31 11 November 2015 | UPDATED: 17:06 11 November 2015
Archant Norfolk 2015
How our region remembered Armistice Day
The market town of Diss fell silent at 11am to remember those killed in conflicts since the beginning of the First World War.
Veterans joined workers, representatives of community groups and organisations and more then 300 members of the public to pay their respects as the sun shone down on the Market Place.
During the service the Last Post was played as the standard of the Royal British Legion’s Diss and District Branch was lowered.
People left their homes, jobs and schools to pay tribute to those who have given their lives for their country.
Around 100 gathered at Dereham’s War Memorial for a brief service and a two-minute silence which started with the Last Post.
Traffic was stopped in the Market Place for the ceremony which also saw pupils from Dereham Church Infant School lay a wreath of their own creation at the foot of the memorial.
About 200 people gathered in the town square to remember those who died in war, as people came together on Armistice Day.
It was organised by the Downham Market joint remembrance committee in association with the Royal British Legion. The deputy mayor and mayoress from King’s Lynn, David and Linda Whitby attended, plus the mayor and mayoress of Downham, John and Margaret Fox.
Pupils from Hillcrest Primary school and Nelson Academy, both in Downham, read poems, and children from the academy laid a poppy wreath on the drum altar supplied by RAF Marham.
The town’s deputy mayor Frank Daymond, who attended with his wife, deputy mayoress, Heather, said: “It went very well. The two-minute silence was well-observed, with some shops closed for the duration. Father James Mather from St Edmund’s Church in the town led the prayers.”
More than 100 people gathered in the courtyard of the historic Great Hospital, near Norwich Cathedral, for a ceremony under a flagpole flying the Union Flag.
The Great Hospital provides supportive and caring environment for older people who live in the community, and a number of those attending the commemoration proudly wore their medals.
The ceremony, which took place under blue skies, was followed by a service at the Parish Church of St Helen, Bishopgate.
For the first time, the hospital also held a ‘dinner down memory lane’, with Marie Curie, which saw about 80 diners enjoy a lunch of dishes familiar from the 1930s and 1940s, but with a twist.
For example, Charlie’s brioche bread and butter pudding included “a hint of chocolate”, which was in scarce supply during the Second World War.
Executive head chef Charlie Hodson said: “We thought that, as opposed to a remembrance service for residents where they dispersed, it was important to remember them more than just by a service around the flagpole.”
Shoppers in the town’s Vancouver Centre stood still for the two minutes’ silence on Armistice Day.
Borough mayor and mayoress Colin and Julie Manning attended, and Mr Manning said: “We met up at 10.30am with a few standard bearers at the Royal British Club in the town, and walked up to the Vancouver centre. The legion is making use of an empty shop to conduct its poppy appeal.
“Canon Chris Ivory, vicar of Lynn Minster, conducted the service and I read a few words.
“There was a large gathering of people all along Broad Street. I was very pleased with how well the two minutes’ silence was observed. Everyone was very respectful.”
Silence fell in Great Yarmouth town centre and in St George’s Park this morning, when people gathered to pay their respects to those who fought and died for our freedom.
The service was opened by Rural Dean and Team Rector The Revd Canon Chris Terry, who said “we must remember those who have died for their country in conflict” before beginning a two minute silence, only interrupted by the sound of seagulls overhead.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Marlene Fairhead laid a wreath, before Canon Terry led the group in a prayer.
He said: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they are the children of God.”
The service, although short, followed a larger service held on Sunday, also in St George’s Park. Organisers say that over 3000 attended the Sunday commemoration.
Tim Bailey, of Great Yarmouth, served with the Royal Artillery from 1996 until 2014, with deployments in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan among others. “It’s incredibly important to be here today as well as Sunday,” he said.
More than 100 people gathered on the Royal Plain in Lowestoft to take part in a two-minute silence to mark the moment when allied forces declared an end to fighting with Germany 97 years ago.
Bob King, Lowestoft Royal British Legion Chairman, described how the small service was “to remember all those that sacrificed their lives for our futures and to remember current conflicts and the injured”.
Over at the Lowestoft War Museum, pupils from three schools in the town gathered to mark the time in 1918 when the guns finally fell silent along the Western Front.
Children from Roman Hill Primary School, Northfield St Nicholas Primary Academy and Ormiston Denes Academy made their own poppy wreaths and placed crosses in the outdoor memorial garden.
Curator Robert Jarvis described how the service of remembrance was “very moving” with about 70 children and 20 adults in attendance.
“I am hoping this is the first of many activities we can plan with the schools,” he said.
Ormiston Denes Academy Year 7 student Ethan Smart said: “It is key that we know the information and to remember the people who risked their lives for the freedom we have now.”
And at the Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Gordon Road, visitors gathered to watch a special performance from the Waveney Singers- who performed a show including facts about the town along with popular songs including ‘Run Rabbit Run’ and ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’.
Linda Goodhand, leader of the group, said: “It went well and we got a standing ovation.
“This year we have put in little bullet points about what happened in Lowestoft during the war and we take the show through the war and put in 1940’s music.
“We do it for ‘Help for Heroes’ and we start to learn this at the beginning of the year.”
More than 500 staff and pupils from Sheringham Primary School marked Armistice Day with songs, poems and stories, at a service held at St Peter’s Church.
Organised by the school with the help of retired senior teacher Tim Groves and Sheringham Churches Together, the service began with a welcome from Lighthouse Church youth minister Rev Pete Skivington and the vicar of Sheringham, Rev Christian Heycocks, who asked youngsters to unfurl banners inscribed with the longest words in the English and Welsh languages to illustrate how one of the shortest words – ‘sorry’ – can be one of the most difficult to say.
Pupils then read self-penned, war-themed poems, with retired RAF officer Flt Lt Terry Randells, who is a congregation member, reading First World War poet John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields.
Year 5 pupils read the names of local servicemen lost in both wars and placed crosses in a ‘field of remembrance’ at the front of the church, also giving a dramatised performance of the Wilfred Owen poem Dulce et Decorum Est.
After songs including Give Me Oil in My Lamp and The Siegfried Line, the exhortation was given by a Sheringham and District Royal British Legion member before the Last Post was played by Salvation Army Band member Keith Pegg.
Head teacher Rachel Carter said that pupils, who had been taking part in wartime-themed activities in the run-up to Remembrance Day, had been keen to get involved in the service after the school organised a similar event to mark the anniversary of World War One last year.
“It was a way of following up that success,” she added. “It is lovely to have all the children in the church and the service was a good opportunity to encourage community involvement.”
Only the rustling of the wind could be heard as people paid respect to those who have given their lives for their country.
Hundreds gathered at Cromer’s War Memorial for a brief service followed by a two-minute silence.
Members of the Royal British Legion, Cromer town mayor Tim Adams and several councillors were joined by members of the public, some of whom stepped out of work to pay respect.
The service, led by Canon James Porter, was projected far into the town by a speaker, words from Pslam 24 were spoken and a reading from the Book of Isaiah was given.
The sun shone on the memorial statue as the whole town fell silent during the two minutes, with police stopping traffic.
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