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Video/Gallery: Town marks grim anniversary of the start of First World War

PUBLISHED: 09:35 05 August 2014

Reception in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Ipswich, followed by a Parade to the Cenotaph, Christchurch Park, Ipswich for a Commemoration event.

Reception in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Ipswich, followed by a Parade to the Cenotaph, Christchurch Park, Ipswich for a Commemoration event.

The start of the First World War was remembered at a special ceremony at the Cenotaph in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, last night.

Civic leaders, service personnel, representatives of the Royal British Legion, and ordinary members of the public came together for the Lights Out ceremony at the park.

Ipswich has a special link with the war – Field Marshall Earl Kitchener, who was Secretary of State for War at the start of the conflict, was also High Steward of Ipswich.

The hour-long ceremony was narrated by BBC Radio Suffolk’s Rachel Sloane and was opened by Ipswich mayor Bill Quinton, who also read King George V’s message to the British Expeditionary Force during the ceremony.

The role of many organisations during the war was recognised – including the fire service, the Salvation Army, the RSPCA, and the British Red Cross.

Among the more poignant moments were provided by letters from the front read by Bridget Hanley from the Suffolk Record Office.

And borough council chief executive Russell Williams told the story of council employee William Tillott’s war service. At the end of the evening a ceremonial candle was extinguished to mark Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey’s comment: “The lamps are going out across Europe. We shall not see them again in our lifetime.”

Before the ceremony began civic leaders processed to the park from the Town Hall. Some in the park sat on special seats set up while others watched on from the side in quiet contemplation.

Many of those who did attend returned home in time to watch the national ceremony at Westminster Abbey marking the build up to the anniversary of the moment war officially began.


For more coverage of the centenary events, see our First World War page.

Police have confirmed no suspicious device has been found after the Center Parcs resort in Elveden was evacuated this evening.

Thousands of families and eager festival-goers braved the changeable weather this weekend to enjoy top bands, food and art at Jimmy’s Festival.

The wealth of “enthusiasm” for keeping Sudbury tidy has been revealed at a meeting organised by the town council, which plans to get the community’s efforts “on the map”.

Trains running to and from London Liverpool Street are being delayed, cancelled and revised as a result of a signalling issue this evening.

A 79-year-old man reported missing from Kedington near Haverhill has been found.

Suffolk New College is launching its summer programme of sports sessions for youngsters this week.

This is the story of the Neptune Inn in Fore Street, but before we learn of its history there are two diversionary tales, writes John Norman.

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