‘It was a great honour’ - 97-year-old veteran carried torch at remembrance journey launch in Cromer
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
From a 97-year-old who served in the same branch of the army as the Queen, to Norfolk's youngest standard bearer, all ages came together to launch a veteran charity's remembrance torch on its journey across the county.
The Royal British Legion's (RBL) remembrance torch was taken to Ypres, as part of the GP90 Great Pilgrimage, earlier this year.
It has now been returned to Norfolk, where RBL members will carry it across the county, uniting young and old in remembrance of those who gave their lives.
And that journey was launched at an event in Cromer today, when 97-year-old resident Noreen Bell carried the torch through Halsey House, a RBL home for veterans.
Mrs Bell, from North Walsham, said: 'It was a great honour to be asked to do it.
'At first I was a bit petrified and didn't want to let anyone down.'
Mrs Bell served in the auxiliary territorial service, the same branch of the British Army as the Queen, and worked as a clerk.
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She added: 'I felt very proud of my country. I had two brothers fight in the war and one was shell shocked and he was never the same. We will remember them.'
Old Catton RBL member, Sam Carruthers, 14, the youngest standard bearer in Norfolk said: 'It's good to have people my age coming here and getting involved.
'The torch is symbolic and passing it down from the old to the young is part of what it's for.'
The service, held at the home on Monday, October 15 at 11am, saw residents, staff RBL members and visitors gather for readings, prayers and a minute's silence.
Guests included Cromer mayor David Pritchard, county legion president Sir William Cubitt, prefects from Cromer Academy, and children from Suffield Park nursery school in Cromer.
Home manager Sally Mills MBE said: 'We were absolutely thrilled to be asked to host this event.
'It's a chance for our veterans to be involved as well as bringing the community into the home.'
Ms Mills, 58, added: 'It has been quite emotional to see residents suited up with their medals on.'
Northrepps RBL chairman, Lorna Fish, 70, said: 'To go back in time, and remember the names of those who lost their lives, after 100 years has gone by makes you reflect on what all those people would have done, and the lives and families they would have had.'
And Hugh King, 74, publicity officer for Norfolk RBL, added: 'We're all just here to say thank you to those who lost their lives.'
The torch will travel across Norfolk from Monday, October 15, to Sunday, October 21.
For more information, visit the Royal British Legion's website.