Gallery/video: Thousands take part in Ipswich Remembrance service

Service to mark Remembrance Sunday on Christchurch Park, Ipswich

Service to mark Remembrance Sunday on Christchurch Park, Ipswich

Thousands of people turned out in Christchurch Park, Ipswich to mark the first Remembrance Day service during the centenary of the First World War.

After hours of heavy rain, the skies relented as the crowds started making their way to the town’s Cenotaph, and by the time the service itself started rays of sunshine were piercing through the gloom of a November morning.

The moving service was led by church leaders from different denominations across the town and by Royal British Legion chairman Robin Vickery.

The first wreath on the Cenotaph was laid by deputy Lord Lieutenant Major Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, who was followed by mayor Bill Quinton, political leaders, and those representing military and civilian services and veterans.

The two-minute silence was observed immaculately in the park, and was broken by the sound of two Apache helicopters from Wattisham airbase flying past to honour the occasion.

Ipswich’s Remembrance Day service always attracts a large crowd – made up of veterans, service personnel, families, and members of the public who simply want to show the support for those killed or injured in conflict.

This year, however, with all the publicity about the centenary of the First World War, the crowds seemed even larger – and there was regular clapping as veterans marched to the Cenotaph proudly displaying their campaign medals.

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After the Remembrance Sunday events in Ipswich, attention now turns to Armistice Day on Tuesday.

A delegation from Ipswich is heading to the town of Arras in Northern France, with which it has close links.

Arras was at the centre of one of the most fierce battles of the First World War and is marking the first Armistice Day of the centenary with a day of special services featuring delegations from Ipswich, Belgium and Germany.

Mr Quinton will be leading the Ipswich group which will include schoolchildren who will be linking up with youngsters from other countries at a special concert to mark the anniversary.