Galleries: Suffolk falls silent for war heroes

THOUSANDS of people stood in silence across Suffolk yesterday as the county remembered its fallen heroes.

THOUSANDS of people stood in silence across Suffolk yesterday as the county remembered its fallen heroes.

Remembrance Sunday events were held at a host of towns and villages, with thoughts turning to those who had died in conflict - and support was shown for those currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In Bury St Edmunds, the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial on Angel Hill attracted near record crowds to watch the spectacle of rousing marching bands and servicemen and women from across the area, as well as scores of cadets, descend on the famous square.

Airmen from nearby RAF Honington as well as representatives from the USAF bases at Mildenhall and Lakenheath were among the forces represented at the service of remembrance.

The two-minute silence at 11am was followed - with military timing - by a flypast of Apache helicopters from Wattisham Airfield, near Stowmarket. The flypast was followed by a parade and civic procession to St Mary's Church, where the service of remembrance was held.

Ron Day, president of the Bury branch of the Royal British Legion, said this year was all the more poignant because it marked the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War as well as 90th anniversary of the formation of the RAF.

Most Read

He said he was delighted with the size of the crowd in Bury, which he estimated equalled last year's record numbers. Mr Day said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had given Remembrance Sunday greater potency: “They have brought home to everyone in the country the sacrifices that were and are still being made.”

Hundreds of people gathered in Ipswich in the shadow of the town's cenotaph in Christchurch Park to pay their respects.

A procession through the town's streets ended at the memorial, where war veterans stood side by side with serving soldiers and poppy wreaths were laid.

The service, led by the Royal British Legion, was attended members of 4 Army Air Corps, based at Wattisham Airfield, and local dignitaries including Ipswich mayor David Hale and MPs Chris Mole and Sir Michael Lord

In Woodbridge, soldiers from 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), based at Rock Barracks outside the town, joined a parade and service. The regiment has just returned from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

They paraded from Theatre Street on to the Market Hill in front of a huge crowd of several hundred people.

Families lined the steps of the Shire Hall to get a better view of the proceedings at the town's memorial garden. Ninety members of the regiment took part in the outdoor service, with 30 marching alongside members of branches of the Royal British Legion.

John Bell, a Woodbridge resident who is a member of the British Korean Veterans' Association, read out the names of the 54 people from the town who had died in the Second World War.

Hundreds of people also braved the elements at Felixstowe seafront, following a service at the United Reformed Church. The minister, William Glasse and town dignitaries walked from the church to the seafront preceded by standard bearers for the Act of Remembrance at the war memorial at 11am.

The regiment also sent representatives to services in Ufford, Melton, Hollesley, Bawdsey and Sutton.

About 400 people turned out for the remembrance parade in Mildenhall. The event included a wreath-laying ceremony at the newly restored war memorial, which now includes a number of names previously omitted from the engravings at the foot of the grey stone statue. A service at the town's St Mary's Church was led by the Rev Sue Leathley.

In Sudbury, a parade left Market Hill for a 2.30pm service at St Gregory's Church. In neighbouring Great Cornard, an earlier parade was followed by a service at St Andrew's Church. A book detailing the lives of those named on the village's war memorial, researched by resident Shirley Smith, was dedicated at the service.

At Aldeburgh wreath laying started before the playing of the Last Post and prayers by Nigel Hartley, vicar of Aldeburgh, and there was a fly past by 653 Squadron of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps.

Then members of the squadron led a procession, which included Aldeburgh mayor Jimmy Robinson and Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, into the church where names of fallen colleagues were read before the church service started.

In Stowmarket, mayor Anne Whybrow, spent a couple of hours in the Market Place on Saturday offering to shine shopper's shoes in return for a donation to charity, before joining the Remembrance Sunday events yesterday.