Solemn ceremonies for Remembrance Sunday across East Anglia

Flags fluttered, medals gleamed and crowds gathered in towns and villages across Norfolk and Suffolk to remember sacrifices made in wars both recent and long past.

Hundreds of people fell silent across Norfolk today as they remembered those who have given their lives in times of conflict.

The Remembrance Sunday service at City Hall in Norwich was led by Lord Mayor of Norwich Tom Dylan who said: 'It is so important that we stop to acknowledge, as we do every year, the great sacrifices made for us during times of war and to hope that we are able to learn the lessons of the past in order to enjoy peace in the future.'

The service took place at the newly refurbished war memorial.

After the service, a procession of ex-servicemen, members of the Royal British Legion, voluntary organisations, RAF Marham, army, navy and air force cadets marched through the city, led by the Norwich Citadel Band.

The parade left Gaol Hill and marched along London Street, Opie Street, Castle Meadow, Agricultural Hall Plain and Upper King Street to the cathedral for a salute.

Dereham people were described as 'magnificent' yesterday as they turned out in their hundreds to ensure one of the biggest Remembrance Sunday attendances for many years.

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Crowds packed several deep at the war memorial in the Market Place to observe the two minutes silence and see wreaths laid.

The parade - led by Dereham Band - was made up of veterans of several conflicts plus local dignataries and members of local youth organisations.

It started on the Cherry Tree car park and marched in to the Market Place for the wreath laying, silence and prayers before going to St Nicholas Parish Church for the morning service,

Parade commander Rowland Hall said: 'The people of Dereham have been magnificent today and on Thursday.'

David Fairweather, who was badly injured in Northern Ireland while serving with the Royal Artillery, is the new Royal British Legion Dereham branch president.

'It is fantastic to see so many people,' he said.

Mr Fairweather, 48, hopes to attract more younger members of the Legion.

'I want to show people that we need more younger people and it is not just for older people.'

Dereham mayor Robert Hambidge said: 'The people of Dereham have done us proud again. It is becoming larger and larger each year and we are slowly getting the connection back with history.'

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman said: 'I drove through several villages on my way to Dereham and it was wonderful seeing groups gathering for services. Norfolk has a real deep link with Remembrance Day and takes it really seriously.'

From youngsters too small to talk, to war veterans who can speak vividly of the horrors of war, all ages were represented at this afternoon's Fakenham Remembrance Sunday parade and open air service.

'It gets bigger every year,' said parade marshall Philip Walker. 'Everybody is aware of war now and it brings it home to people. The turnout is fantastic.'

Richard Dawson, who lives at nearby East Barsham and spent 26 years in the Army, was piper in the Market Place.

'I think there is an excellent turnout for a small town. The awareness is better now and I was very pleased with how the silence was adhered to.'

A wide range of ex-service organisations were represented along with emergency services and uniformed youth groups and dignitaries.

On Friday night about 200 people attended a festival of remembrance at Fakenham Parish Church.

There were parades and services organised by Wells Royal British Legion at Holkham, Warham and Wells.

In Swaffham, hundreds of people attended the open air Remembrance Sunday silence and wreath laying at the war memorial.

The parade went from Whitecross Road and after the observance in the Market Place, there was a service at St Peter and St Paul Church.

Among the dignitaries taking part were town mayor Ian Sherwood and South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss.

Watton's parade started with a short service at the Thetford Road memorial before marching on to St Mary's Parish Church.

At Felbrigg in north Norfolk there was a service by the war memorial on the village green.

Marion Walker, from the village all committee, said: 'There were about 33 people who also came back to the village hall afterwards. We currently have three people from the village fighting in Afghanistan, so they were mentioned in the service as well. It was very poignant.'

There was also a list on the memorial of names of soldiers from the village who had died during the first world war, after villagers had researched where they were all buried so they could include them on the list.

In Holt a parade, lead by Colin Kemp chairman of the Holt branch of Royal British Legion, marched from the Methodist church to the town's war memorial for outdoor service, silence and the laying of more than 20 wreaths. Ian Lambert, who has served with the Coldstream Guards for 25 years, laid a wreath on behalf of them and his father, Gordan.

Also involved in the ceremony were pupils from Gresham's School and Norfolk cadets as well as representatives from the Royal Marines and all the services.

John Perry Warnes, branch president of the Holt RBL, said: 'I think it was the biggest parade we have ever had, there were more people than I have seen before.'

In Cromer, a parade led by TS Warrior naval cadet corps left Meadow car park, for a service in the parish church followed by wreath laying,

Involved in the parade were the Royal British Legion, the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, the RNLI, and local youth Guide and Scout groups.

Three men who died in action after the second world war were also honoured on a new memorial plaque in Cromer, paratrooper Cpl Stephen Bolger, 30, died last year in an explosion in Afghanistan, Royal Engineers second lieutenant Anthony Warnes who was just 19 when he was shot in a friendly-fire accident in Kenya in 1954, and Able Seaman Edgar Harrison, 29, died when his ship HMS London was shelled in the 'Yangtse Incident' in China in 1949.

At the Remembrance Sunday service in Cromer around 400 people came to pay their respects.

Jimmy Harrison from Gorleston, who had come to see the memorial to his brother, said: 'We used to come to the church and sing in the choir so it is a fitting tribute to have a memorial here for him.'

In Aylsham, a parade left Cawston Road Drill Hall for an afternoon service in St Michael's Church and wreath-laying at the churchyard war memorial.

Philip Burr, from the Aylsham branch of the Royal British Legion, said: 'The church was packed out, there was standing room only. Everything went really well and the weather held off for us.'

At North Walsham, a wreath-laying ceremony and silent tribute at the war memorial in Memorial Park was followed by a parade to St Nicholas' Church, where a well-attended service of remembrance was led by the vicar, Rev Derek Earis.

The sermon was given by Fr David Bagstaff of the town's Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, with North Walsham mayor Anne Rose and Royal British Legion branch chairman Colin Chambers giving bible readings.

After wreaths were laid by representatives from local groups and organisations including North Walsham Guides and Scouts, the police and St Nicholas' Sunday school, refreshments were served up in St Benet's Hall.

Hundreds turned out at Sheringham, where the town's Salvation Army Band led a parade to the war memorial for a service led by the vicar of St Peter's Church, former Royal Marines commando Rev Christian Heycocks.

The names of the fallen were read by young Scouts and Guides, with representatives from groups including the RNLI, the emergency services and the town council laying wreaths. The salute was taken by town mayor Doug Smith and Sheringham RBL chairman David Farrow.

Sheringham Royal British Legion membership secretary Melanie Clarke, who organised the parade, said: 'We had many more people attend than we have had for some years, which I think shows that support for the Legion and for all ex-service people is increasing, which is wonderful.'There were poignant scenes across north Norfolk as people paid their respects to sacrifices made in wars both recent and long past.

People fell silent across Norfolk on Sunday as they remembered those who have given their lives in times of conflict.

In Cromer, a parade led by TS Warrior naval cadet corps left Meadow car park, for a service in the parish church followed by wreath laying,

Involved in the parade were the Royal British Legion, the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, the RNLI, and local youth Guide and Scout groups.

Three men who died in action after the second world war were also honoured on a new memorial plaque in Cromer, paratrooper Cpl Stephen Bolger, 30, died last year in an explosion in Afghanistan, Royal Engineers second lieutenant Anthony Warnes who was just 19 when he was shot in a friendly-fire accident in Kenya in 1954, and Able Seaman Edgar Harrison, 29, died when his ship HMS London was shelled in the 'Yangtse Incident' in China in 1949.

At the Remembrance Sunday service in Cromer around 400 people came to pay their respects.

Jimmy Harrison from Gorleston, who had come to see the memorial to his brother, said: 'We used to come to the church and sing in the choir so it is a fitting tribute to have a memorial here for him.'

At Felbrigg in north Norfolk there was a service by the war memorial on the village green.

Marion Walker, from the village all committee, said: 'There were about 33 people who also came back to the village hall afterwards. We currently have three people from the village fighting in Afghanistan, so they were mentioned in the service as well. It was very poignant.'

There was also a list on the memorial of names of soldiers from the village who had died during the First World War, after villagers had researched where they were all buried so they could include them on the list.

Bikers also took part in a remembrance Ride Out on Remembrance Sunday, across Norfolk, starting at Sheringham and finishing at Duxford, helping raise money for Help for Heroes.

In Holt a parade, lead by Colin Kemp chairman of the Holt branch of Royal British Legion, marched from the Methodist church to the town's war memorial for outdoor service, silence and the laying of more than 20 wreaths. Ian Lambert, who has served with the Coldstream Guards for 25 years, laid a wreath on behalf of them and his father, Gordan.

Also involved in the ceremony were pupils from Gresham's School and Norfolk cadets as well as representatives from the Royal Marines and all the services.

John Perry Warnes, branch president of the Holt RBL, said: 'I think it was the biggest parade we have ever had, there were more people than I have seen before.'

In Stalham, a parade left the old railway station in the town for a service at St Mary's Parish Church.

Wreaths were laid by the Royal British Legion, pupils from the town's infant primary and high schools and other youth groups including the Sea Scouts,

Rev Simon Lawrence, who is also chairman of the Stalham branch of the Royal British Legion, said there had been well over 300 people at the service.

In Aylsham, a parade left Cawston Road Drill Hall for an afternoon service in St Michael's Church and wreath-laying at the churchyard war memorial.

Philip Burr, from the Aylsham branch of the Royal British Legion, said: 'The church was packed out, there was standing room only. Everything went really well and the weather held off for us.'

At North Walsham, a wreath-laying ceremony and silent tribute at the war memorial in Memorial Park was followed by a parade to St Nicholas' Church, where a well-attended service of remembrance was led by the vicar, Rev Derek Earis.

The sermon was given by Fr David Bagstaff of the town's Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, with North Walsham mayor Anne Rose and Royal British Legion branch chairman Colin Chambers giving bible readings.

After wreaths were laid by representatives from local groups and organisations including North Walsham Guides and Scouts, the police and St Nicholas' Sunday school, refreshments were served up in St Benet's Hall.

Hundreds turned out at Sheringham, where the town's Salvation Army Band led a parade to the war memorial for a service led by the vicar of St Peter's Church, former Royal Marines commando Rev Christian Heycocks.

The names of the fallen were read by young Scouts and Guides, with representatives from groups including the RNLI, the emergency services and the town council laying wreaths. The salute was taken by town mayor Doug Smith and Sheringham RBL chairman David Farrow.

Sheringham Royal British Legion membership secretary Melanie Clarke, who organised the parade, said: 'We had many more people attend than we have had for some years, which I think shows that support for the Legion and for all ex-service people is increasing, which is wonderful.'

In Mundesley a clifftop memorial service was held for the 26 men who were with the Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal and who died clearing mines on Norfolk beaches after the second world war.

Alan Verney from the North Norfolk Landmine Association, said: 'We had quite a few people turn out, around 40 or 50 for the clifftop memorial.'

Bikers also took part in a remembrance Ride Out on Remembrance Sunday, across Norfolk, starting at Sheringham and finishing at Duxford, helping raise money for Help for Heroes.

The All Saints Swanton Morley bellringers rung half-muffled bells before the morning Remembrance Sunday service at All Saints Church.

Hundreds gathered around the war memorial in St George's Park, Great Yarmouth for the service of remembrance, although several people were heard to remark that the crowd was smaller than in some previous years.

Veterans proudly sporting their medals were joined by children who looked on in wonderment, impressed by the pageantry but still too young to understand the full import of the occasion.

Some of the families paying their respects noticeably spanned three generations from grandparents who remembered the second world war to children who have grown up with conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On a perfectly still morning, under a hazy blue sky, the haunting sound of Great Yarmouth Brass drifted across the park as a succession of wreaths was laid at the memorial.

Joining service and town organisations in the wreath-laying were diginitaries who included Yarmouth Mayor Michael Jeal and MP Brandon Lewis.

The service was conducted by Yarmouth's team rector the Rev Chris Terry who, in his address, reminded people of the importance of remembrance in highlighting the sacrifices made 'to ensure that we never allow evil to override the virtues of a civilised society'.

The service ended as it had begun with a parade which included representatives of the Royal British Legion, RAF, sea and St John Ambulance cadets and a host of other organisations. The parade ended in the Market Place with the mayor taking the salute.

Following the service, a second remembrance service for Far East service personnel was held at the war memorial close to the Jetty on Yarmouth seafront.

Up to 100 people, including the dignitaries who had attended the earlier service, joined representatives of the Far East Prisoners of War Association (FEPOW) service for the 30 minute service, which finished just before heavy rain set in.

Bert Major, 89, who has served as FEPOW's treasurer and chairman, was among those present. He served in the army's Cambridgeshire Regiment during the second world war between 1938-46 and was taken prisoner after being wounded in Johor, Malaysia.

He said: 'It is very important that the children and grandchildren and people of the future learn about the sacrifices of Far East soldiers. We will never forget them and our families support us in this.'

A Remembrance Sunday service was held at the war memorial in Thetford and the parade marched down King Street to St Cuthbert's Church.

Stradbroke came to a standstill as residents remembered villagers who lost their lives in conflict and the most recent addition to their war memorial.

Hundreds of people gathered around the memorial as a lone bugler played the Last Post before a two minute silence at 11am.

Rev David Streeter said this year's Remembrance Sunday service was made all the more poignant by the death of Stradbroke resident Private James Grigg, 21, who was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan whilst serving with the Royal Anglian Regiment in March.

Pte Grigg is the first name to be added to the village war memorial since the end of the second world war.

Fourteen poppy wreathes were laid by local clubs and organisations and Pte Grigg's father Michael.

Mr Grigg said the turn out from the village was 'fantastic' and some of his son's friends in the military had attended. He added that the day was not just about James, but also the village's servicemen who died whilst serving in previous wars.

Michael Burton, chairman of the Stradbroke and District Royal British Legion, also praised the large attendance for the Remembrance Sunday service.

Hundreds of people gathered near the mere at Diss for a Remembrance Sunday parade led by a Salvation Army marching band.

The march headed up Mere Street and finished at St Mary's Church where dozens of wreathes were laid by military groups, local clubs, emergency services, scout and guide groups, and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

In Wymondham, hundreds of townsfolk attended a service at the Abbey to remember the town's war dead following a wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial.

A 1000-strong crowd turned out for the service of remembrance at Royal Plain in Lowestoft .

Preceding the service was a parade from the town hall with all the town's cadet groups joining veterans and other town groups.

Guests attending included Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Lowestoft Mayor Nigel Dack. The Salvation Army band provided music for the service.

In King's Lynn, hundreds flocked to the war memorial in the Tower Gardens to remember those who gave their lives in service for their country.

The memorial was recently re-dedicated to include reference to all those who have died since 1945 as well as those who died during the two world wars.

The event started with parades from the Town Hall along St James Street to the Tower Gardens. The first to set off was a group of veterans.

Mayor Zipha Christopher then lead a procession of civic representatives from the Town Hall followed by a contingent from RAF Marham and members of the three cadet forces.

Lynn Town Band played solemn music in the Tower Gardens from 10.45am as they awaited for the procession to arrive at the war memorial.

The bugler then played The Last Post, signalling the beginning of the two minutes' silence and the start of the ceremony - which saw 40 wreaths laid from representatives from various organisations.

Following the ceremony, the civic procession paraded to St Margaret's Church for a service.

Despite the slight drizzle, young and old packed the streets in Downham Market for a remembrance parade yesterday afternoon.

The march left the market place in the town at 2.30pm and was followed by hundreds of townspeople to the war memorial.

The crowd then watched on as dignitaries and representatives from organisations across the town took part in a wreath laying ceremony.

Town mayor John Fox and South-West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss both laid a wreath as well as Philip Plant from the town's chamber of trade.

The Last Post then echoed around the war memorial which was followed by a moment of silence and a short service.

The parade then marched up to St Edmund's Church, in King's Walk, for a church service.

Mum-of-two Jill Noble took her two children, Megan, seven, and Ben, four, to the war memorial for the wreath laying ceremony.

She said: 'It is always nice to see so many people come along here every year to remember those who died for our freedom.

'I always bring my children along to Remembrance Sunday because I think it is important for them to pay their respects.

'With the recent and on-going conflicts abroad I think these services are just as important now as they have ever been.

'Hopefully Megan and Ben will help keep this important tradition going in the future by taking their children.'

In Terrington St Clement, near King's Lynn, the village held a wreath and poppy cross laying ceremony.

The event was held at the memorial field where the village's 100 dead from the first world war and 26 from the second world war are always individually remembered.

A crowd of nearly 400 people braved rain for the afternoon wreath-laying ceremony at Beccles war memorial followed by a service in St Michael's Church.

The service was led by the Rev John Beauchamp with Jodie Harris singing the first world war ballad The green fields of France.

David Devereux, chairman of the Royal British Legion Beccles branch, said: 'It was a very, very good turnout considering the rain.'