Suffolk: Great War returns to the fore as Ipswich prepares for Poppy launch

This year's poppy appeal is being launched at the weekend.

This year's poppy appeal is being launched at the weekend. - Credit: Getty Images/Stockdisc

As this year’s Poppy Appeal is about to be launched, plans to mark the centenary of the First World War in Ipswich are being prepared.

A national commemoration of the conflict is due to start next summer, to mark the centenary of the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand which triggered the start of the war.

More than four years of events will be held both locally and nationally to mark the progress of the war and the effect it had on communities.

In Ipswich events will start with a Civic Procession and vigil of prayer at the Cenotaph on August 4 – the anniversary of the declaration of war.

A skeleton programme of events over the next four years has already been prepared – but the Star and the borough council are also hoping to hear of direct local connections with the War.

The first meeting of organisations hoping to come together to mark the centenary took place this week, just days before the 2013 Poppy Appeal is launched in Ipswich.

Mayor Hamil Clarke will launch the appeal at the Town Hall on Saturday morning before visiting the Poppy Appeal shop which is opening in Tower Ramparts in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day on November 10 and 11.

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He said: “The Poppy Appeal is a key date in the Ipswich calendar as it starts the Remembrance commemorations.

“We must never forget the valour shown by our Armed Forces, many of whom paid the supreme sacrifice for their families and their country.”

This year’s events at the Christchurch Park Cenotaph on the Sunday and at the War Cemetery on the Monday will be traditional – but next year there are likely to be changes as a major ceremony is planned at Ipswich’s twin town, Arras, one of the major battlefields of the war.

See the paper over the next few months for details about how you can take part in the commemorations of the first major worldwide conflict.