Video/Gallery: Thousands honour fallen heroes at annual Remembrance Day service in Christchurch Park in Ipswich
- Credit: Archant
Thousands of people honoured members of the Armed Forces killed in conflict at the annual Remembrance Day event in Christchurch Park in Ipswich today.
They joined millions of people around the country and the Commonwealth who marked the fallen in conflicts over the last century.
In Ipswich the ceremony centred on the Cenotaph, lit up in autumn sunlight as troops from the Army Air Corps at Wattisham airfield led in representatives from the armed forces, cadet forces, other uniformed organisations and representatives of the Royal British Legion.
There was a round of applause as they assembled in front of the memorial.
The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lord Tollemache, laid the first wreath on the Cenotaph. He was followed by Ipswich mayor Hamil Clarke, Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.
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The two-minute silence was immaculately marked by old and young, stood together in a moment of quiet contemplation. Only the distant sounds of traffic and the rustling of leaves could be heard.
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Mr Gummer said: “It is always an honour to be part of the Remembrance Day ceremony, particularly to see and applaud those who have served in the past and those serving now.
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“It was a beautiful day and lovely to see so many people in the park from so many generations across the town.”
Mr Ellesmere said: “It was another fantastic service with hundreds of people coming together to pay their respects to those who have given their lives for this country.
“I think more people came today than in previous years and it was great to see the sentiment of paying tribute to those who laid down their lives passed on to so many young people.”
Dozens of wreaths and crosses were placed at the Cenotaph after the ceremony.
A message from the Women’s Royal Army Corps Auxiliary Territorial Service said: “They fought for our country/They fought for our liberty/In lands far away/Our soldiers now lay.”
Another said: “For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We will remember them.”
Former RAF serviceman and now Roman Catholic Deacon of St Mary Magdalene Church in Ipswich, Clive Brooks, said the service was “particular poignant” for him.
His grandfather John Ellis Brooks, a member of the cavalry, was one of thousands of British troops who perished in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 during the First World War.
“It was an excellent service,” said Mr Brooks, who served in the RAF Police from 1954-57.
“It was particularly poignant for me and for all the families who lived through the Second World War and other conflicts. We are paying tribute not only to those who died on the battlefields and in the air but also those at home.”
Seventeen-year-old Lance Corporal Williams, of the Ipswich Army Cadets, said it was an “honour” to have been a standard-bearer during the service, carrying the Korean Veteran Standard.
“It was a moving service and paying my respect means a lot to me as I hope to join the Territorial Army and the British Army.
“I have always wanted to serve my country from a young age and I will go wherever needed.”
Mr Clarke said he thought as many as 5,000 people descended on Christchurch Park.
“The weather brought out a lot of people but I also think the people of Ipswich are aware of so many wars going on in different places around the world,” he said.
“It was an excellent service and it was an honour to lay a wreath.”
Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore described the event as “wonderful and moving”.
“I think it shows the debt many of us owe to people who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.
“I was proud to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph.”