January 31, 1953, was Norfolk's blackest night. The worst storm for centuries left a trail of death and destruction in its wake as a storm surge battered the coast.

But heroism shone through the darkness as brave rescuers risked their lives to pull others to safety from the violent sea.

Those who died and those who prevented many more from being taken that night are being remembered around our region this weekend.

Eastern Daily Press: American airman Reis Leming, who rescued 27 people from the floods at HunstantonAmerican airman Reis Leming, who rescued 27 people from the floods at Hunstanton (Image: Newsquest)

They include the 66 who died along the low-lying coastline inland from The Wash between Hunstanton and King's Lynn.     

Worst-hit was Hunstanton, where 31 people perished. Sixteen of them were American service personnel and their families, including six from one household, lodging in wooden homes along the South Beach area.

Fifteen died in King's Lynn, where a fifth of the town was underwater after high tide in the Great Ouse, which was predicted to reach 22ft, rose 10ft higher and a wall of water smashed through the medieval port, before flooding most of South Lynn. 

Eastern Daily Press: People fleeing from the floods in King's LynnPeople fleeing from the floods in King's Lynn (Image: Newsquest)

Other villages such as Cley, Wiveton and Watlington had one death in each. In Salthouse a man carried his wife to their kitchen table after she broke her leg when water burst through the front door. But as he laid her on the kitchen table another wave swept her away to her death.

Lowestoft did not suffer any deaths on the night of the floods but days later it emerged that the Guava, with 11 men onboard, was lost at sea in the storm.

At Southwold, five died and further along the coast another 40 at Felixstowe, eight at Harwich and 37 in Jaywick. Worst hit was Canvey Island, with the whole area deluged and 11,000 homes affected. There were 58 deaths.

Eastern Daily Press: Rescuers searching for survivors between Hunstanton and HeachamRescuers searching for survivors between Hunstanton and Heacham (Image: Newsquest)

The following events are taking place on Sunday:

Great Yarmouth: A service will take place at 3pm at Great Yarmouth Minister, followed by an exhibition will be open daily from 10am - 12-midday until February 5.

Hunstanton: A parade will set off from the Ski Club along the Promenade at 10.30am and march to the flood memorial, where there will be a service and wreath laying at 11am.   

This will be followed by exhibitions in the Town Hall, while films will be showing at the Princess Theatre from 1pm - 2.30pm.

Eastern Daily Press: The aftermath of the flooding in HunstantonThe aftermath of the flooding in Hunstanton (Image: Newsquest)

Lowestoft: Free exhibition at The Grit Arts and Heritage Centre in Old Nelson Street from Saturday, January 28 to Friday, February 3 (except the Sunday) 10am - 4pm.

Snettisham: Service at St Mary’s Church at 10am followed by a memorial service at the flood memorial in the Village Square. There will also be an exhibition at the Village Hall.

On Monday and Tuesday, Sea Palling and Waxham Village Hall will be hosting an exhibition from 10am - 5pm.

On Tuesday, there will be a service at King's Lynn Minster at 1pm. The church will also be hosting an exhibition on the floods from 10am - 4pm.