East Anglia joins forces to salute region’s war dead
- Credit: Archant
Communities across East Anglia came to a halt today (Sunday) to remember those who gave their lives for their country in conflicts around the globe - including two world wars.
Special Remembrance services held a particular poignance for a region which still retains close links with the Armed Forces.
In Sheringham, children from the local Guides and Scouts read out the names of all the local residents killed in conflict during a service at the town's war memorial, as more than 30 local organisations, led by the town council, laid wreaths as a mark of respect.
David Farrow, President of the Sheringham and District Branch of The Royal British Legion, said: 'It is important to honour the sacrifice of all the wars, the people who served and the people who are still serving. It's all about remembrance and getting the younger generation involved and make them understand the sacrifice they made for them today.
'When the Yanks were here, they called East Anglia the biggest aircraft carrier in England because of the amount of planes that were stationed here.'
About 200 people attended a service held at Old Buckenham Airfield - the former home of the USAAF 453rd Bomb Group.
Group Captain (retired) Willie Cruickshank sounded the Last Post and the Star Spangled Banner was played.
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In attendance were Capt Adam Dyke and Capt Katrina Dyke from RAF Lakenheath and Agnes Ramm, from the 453rd Bombardment Group Memorial Association, who laid wreaths.
Memorial trees were lanted in Kenninghall, near Diss, to remember the Kenninghall serviceman killed during the First World War and for two German PoWs who died in the village.
The German Embassy in London sent two small wooden crosses with a message saying: 'It is gestures like your ceremony that render a lasting service to reconciliation and humanity.'
Canon Lorraine Summers said: 'It is hoped that the trees will stand for generations as a reminder of the true cost of war and as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.'
Other services took place in towns and villages across Norfolk and Suffolk, including the RAF Coltishall memorial garden at Badersfield.
In Cromer, more than 400 people packed into the Parish Church following a parade through town before North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb joined the community in laying a wreath at the war memorial.
The town centre landmark is currently the subject of a fundraising campaign to restore it to its former glory to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War - with locals raising upwards of £20,000 towards the total cost of the project, envisaged to cost more than £60,000.
The Revd James Porter, minister of Cromer Parish Church with St Martin's, who led the service, said: 'It's a great community event where much of the town of all ages has come together, uniformed organisations through to individuals, many people just wanting to remember the sacrifice that people gave for our peace, our freedom, our future.
'We feel it's really important to help the town do just that and to involve as many of them as possible.'
Feelings of pride, respect and honour were in abundance in King's Lynn.
The annual parade, two minutes' silence and wreath-laying ceremony in Tower Gardens was one of the most well-attended Remembrance Sunday events in Norfolk.
Cyril Route, 92, a war veteran who has volunteered for the Poppy Appeal, raising money for the Royal British Legion, for more than 45 years, said: 'It's been a beautiful ceremony.
'It is lovely to see everybody out here like this. I think it's an even better turnout than we've had in previous years.
'It shows how important these days are for people in King's Lynn.'
The event began with a parade from Saturday Market Place along St James's Street to the Tower Gardens.
The parade was led by veterans from all three armed services.
West Norfolk mayor David Whitby led a procession of civic representatives from the Town Hall to the War Memorial where he, along with representatives from various organisations.
More than 50 wreaths were laid before prayers, led by The Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn.
Solemn music was performed by King's Lynn Town Band.
The event was also attended by North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, members of the Royal British Legion, a contingent from RAF Marham, and members of the Sea, Army, Air, and Police Cadet Forces.
A procession then paraded to King's Lynn Minster, where a service was conducted by the Reverend Canon Christopher Ivory.
In Attleborough, a number of veterans watched on proudly as the parade made its way to the town's war memorial.
Hundreds of people turned up to show their support with members of the Royal British Legion, fire service and the town mayor Jeremy Burton laying wreaths.
Ray Fox served with the Royal Artillery and fought in the Korean War.
The 82-year-old said: 'I do not forget. This is the opportunity to show it. It shows the younger generation we all still care and will do while we can.'
Rupert Aubrey-Cound, who served in both the army and RAF in Cyprus and the Arabian Gulf, said: 'We remember our fallen comrades. It is important. If it wasn't for them, the country would be quite different.'
Around 2,000 people, young and old, lined the streets of Lowestoft, as a parade marched from Claremont Pier to the Royal Plain War Memorial.
Mayor Nick Webb and councillor Mark Bee were both in attendance, and two Ormiston Denes pupils - Lauren Benjamin and Hubert Czubaj - each read a poem, 'In Flanders Field' and 'Why I Wear A Poppy'.
Wreaths were laid at the memorial, and two minutes of silence were observed as the town paid its respects to the fallen heroes of war.
In Diss the Salvation Army Band led the town's parade as hundreds of people lined Mere Street.
The Diss army and air cadets, cubs, scouts and guides were among the groups who joined in the march.
Town mayor Mike Bardwell said: 'The youngsters of today should learn from the past. And it is good to see all the youngsters, from all the clubs, involved.'
A parade filed through the streets of Harleston, lead by the Royal British Legion branch chairman Jimmy Keywood. A service was then held in St John's Church.
More than 400 people gathered around the war memorial in Fakenham yesterday afternoon for a poignant Remembrance Sunday ceremony.
After a parade, a wreath-laying ceremony and two-minutes' silence, a service was held at Fakenham Parish Church.
RAF veteran William Littler, 85, said: 'I've been very impressed by what they do here in Fakenham - it is well up to standard.
'It's a very good turnout and a great deal of thought has gone into this event.
'It shows how important this day is to the people of Fakenham.'