Events at Aldeburgh and on Cyprus honour Suffolk’s war dead
PUBLISHED: 11:12 12 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 12 November 2018
Aldeburgh had a day of special events to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War – starting with a lone piper playing “Battle’s O’er” at the War Memorial at 6am and finishing with a torchlight parade in the evening.
Civic dignitaries, guests, residents and visitors started to assemble at the War Memorial from 10.30, together with soldiers from 653 Squadron. Wreaths were then laid to mark the start of the Service of Remembrance.
Shortly before 11am, The Exhortation was read by John Richardson OBE, followed by Prayers, led by Rev Mark Lowther, Vicar of St Peter and St Paul Parish Church.
At precisely 11am, a maroon was fired on the beach to mark the start of the two-minute silence, the end of which was marked by another maroon. The watching crowds turned towards the sea as an Apache helicopter performed a ceremonial flypast over the beach.
The piper then led the procession to the Parish Church for a Service of Remembrance, where the names of Aldeburgh’s Fallen were read out.
The day’s commemorations resumed in the evening when, just before 7pm, the Last Post was sounded at the beacon on Crag Path, which was lit shortly after – an event mirrored at coastal beacons across the land to signify the light of peace that emerged from the darkness of four years of terrible human sacrifice.
As the flames died down at the beacon, Aldeburgh Town Council Mace Bearer, Charles Walker, recited a specially-written Cry for Peace Around the World. The piece was first recited in New Zealand and then crossed the world’s time zones.
Meanwhile in Cyprus there was a special event at the War Memorial at Kyrenia which remembers British soldiers – many of them from the Suffolk Regiment in one of its last deployments before becoming part of the Royal Anglian Regiment.
Derek Chilvers from Suffolk served on the island from 1958-59 and met up with his former comrades to help lay a wreath there to remember those who did not return from the island at the end of their National Service.
Former Suffolk Regiment soldiers who served in Cyprus meet up a couple of times a year in the Bury St Edmunds area and if anyone else wants to join them they can contact Mr Chilvers by e-mail.