Gallery: Silence as region honours brave sacrifice

A SILENCE descended on the region yesterday as people stopped to remember those who died to protect the freedom we enjoy.

A SILENCE descended on the region yesterday as people stopped to remember those who died to protect the freedom we enjoy.

Thousands of people marked the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War with a two minute silence at 11am, and a series of moving services.

The two minutes marked the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month and the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Rethondes, France, in 1918.

In Ipswich, shoppers stood in quiet reflection on the Cornhill and workers downed tools to observe the silence for the fallen.

Ex-servicemen and the families of men and women who gave their lives in combat gathered at Ipswich cemetery to ensure they are never forgotten.

In Sudbury, a short ceremony was held outside the Town Hall. Deputy town clerk Jacqui Howells said the service, led by the town's clergy and attended by Sudbury Royal British Legion members and dignitaries including Sudbury Mayor John Sayers, attracted around 200 onlookers.

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She said: “I would say it was probably a bigger crowd than in previous years - Remembrance Day did seem to be particularly poignant this year.”

In Bury St Edmunds a brief ceremony was held by the war memorial.

Standards surrounded the stone cross and a short service included prayers for those men and women from the area - from RAF Honington, RAF Wattisham, near Stowmarket, and the two USAF bases at Mildenhall and Lakenheath - who are now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Mildenhall, around 250 people gathered around the town's newly restored war memorial for a short service. Among the congregation were 50 pupils from nearby St Mary's Primary School.

More than 350 soldiers, their family and friends, gathered at Rock Barracks, near Woodbridge, for the Armistice Day service.

Troops from 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) remembered those who had died in past and current conflicts.

Soldiers from the regiment also attended a service at Haughgate Nursing Home, Woodbridge, and thanked residents and staff who made up parcels and comfort boxes at the home and sent to the troops while they were on a recent tour of duty in Afghanistan.

On the banks of the River Orwell, school children gathered to remember former pupils who had died serving their country on the front line.

Names of those who had been educated at Orwell Park school in Nacton and lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars were read out as current students fell silent to pay their respects.

At Stowmarket a crowd gathered in the Market Place, including representatives from the Royal British Legion and community leaders, with residents also stopping in the street to reflect.

The Rev Michael Eden, priest at the town centre St Peter and St Mary's church, said prayers and spoke of the need to commemorate those who gave their lives and the hope for a more positive future.