Watch 10,000 pay respects in Ipswich to mark 100 years since Armistice
- Credit: Archant
The largest crowds ever seen for a Remembrance service in Ipswich turned out pay their respects at the centenary Armistice Service at the Christchurch Park Cenotaph.
Organisers estimated the crowds at around 10,000 – considerably more than in previous years – as people turned out to honour the dead in wars, and to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Troops from Wattisham flying station joined Suffolk’s Lord Lieutenant, Clare Countess of Euston, Ipswich Mayor Jane Riley, the town’s two MPs Sandy Martin and Dr Dan Poulter and other civic leaders for the open-air service which took place under clear skies.
The two-minute silence at 11am was immaculately observed – coming to an end as an Apache from Wattisham flew overhead to add an extra tribute.
The service in Christchurch Park always draws thousands but the organisers agreed this year’s event was on a different scale to most others. The perfect weather helped – but the importance of the anniversary was also clearly a major factor for many people.
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And many people were going on to other commemorations later in the day – including military historian who was setting off to the national service at Westminster Abbey in the evening.
The number of people attending the Ipswich service has grown steadily over the years – particularly during the four years of the anniversary of the First World War – but organisers believe it is likely to remain a major event now that this anniversary is past.
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Next year the world will be marking the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War and attention is expected to focus heavily on the start of that conflict.
As well as current service personnel and veterans from the Royal British Legion, the parade also featured younger people from cadets to scouts, St John Ambulance volunteers and Boys and Girls Brigade members.
And a new venture this year was a poppy display in the middle of the park’s Round Pond which has recently had a new fountain installed.
This display is particularly striking at dusk and dawn in half-light – but many of the visitors to the service took a detour to see the giant wreath in the middle of the day.