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Over 350 children take part in Bury St Edmunds Armistice celebrations

PUBLISHED: 22:00 04 November 2018

The performance was just one of the acts of rememberance across Suffolk this week. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The performance was just one of the acts of rememberance across Suffolk this week. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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St Edmundsbury Cathedral was the scene of a powerful Act of Remembrance as 350 young performers honoured those who died in the First World War.

Sixth form students played the leading roles in the dramatic and dance pieces of the performance. Picture: RACHEL EDGESixth form students played the leading roles in the dramatic and dance pieces of the performance. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The performance, called Crimson Glory, featured a full orchestra, cathedral choir, organ and schoolchildren to tell the tale of a young Suffolk soldier in the Great War.

Using video alongside the dance and dramatic pieces, primary, secondary and sixth form students from across Suffolk depicted the soldier’s journey from his life on a farm to the horrors of the Somme battlefields.

The St Edmundsbury Cathedral Choir, the Cantus Firmus Choir, Ex Silentio Choir from King Edward VI School and a massed children’s choir from schools in the Bury Schools Partnership all accompanied the performers as the cathedral audience was moved by the emotional story.

Classic pieces of music from Elgar and Vaughn Williams were performed with wartime classics like Pack Up Your Troubles and Sister Susie Sewing Shirts for Soldiers, as well as an original composition by the cathedral’s organ scholar, Thomas Hawkes.

A single poppy on stage stood in the centre of St Edmundsbury Catherdral. Picture: RACHEL EDGEA single poppy on stage stood in the centre of St Edmundsbury Catherdral. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The cathedral cloisters have also held an exhibition of art from the participating schools in the run up to the performance.

The special exhibition was only possible through individual charitable donations and the support of Birketts, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Glasswells.

A number of other key events, organised by both the Royal British Legion and a small team set up by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston, take place this week.

The Suffolk War Graves Project, in particular, is trying to ensure the story of the Great War is passed down to the next generation.

Primary schools across Suffolk took part in the choirs. Picture: RACHEL EDGEPrimary schools across Suffolk took part in the choirs. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Schoolchildren will lay poppies on 1,332 war graves in 248 cemeteries throughout the county on Thursday, November 8.

Another pertinent part of the centenary will be an “Eve of Peace” service happening at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on November 7. This multi-faith evening service will be a mixture of ceremonial, commemoration and thanksgiving.

And, of course, on November 11 - Remembrance Sunday - there will be numerous ceremonies across the county, with soldiers, civic dignitaries and veterans on parade.

Hundreds of children came together to rehearse for Crimson Glory earlier this week. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of children came together to rehearse for Crimson Glory earlier this week. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The story centered on a fitctional Suffolk solider who leaved his farm-hand life for the trenches of The Somme. Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe story centered on a fitctional Suffolk solider who leaved his farm-hand life for the trenches of The Somme. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The performance looked at the effect of the Great War on those that fought and those that stayed in Britain. Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe performance looked at the effect of the Great War on those that fought and those that stayed in Britain. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Some of the children in their final dress rehearsal before they performed on Sunday evening. Picture: RACHEL EDGESome of the children in their final dress rehearsal before they performed on Sunday evening. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Video accompanied the choirs and performers to add another element to the emotional performance. Picture: RACHEL EDGEVideo accompanied the choirs and performers to add another element to the emotional performance. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Some of the children got a sneak preview of the actors before having to rehearse. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSome of the children got a sneak preview of the actors before having to rehearse. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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