Choir and congregation unite to mark Armistice centenary
- Credit: Andy Abbott
The anniversary of the end of the First World War was marked in Bury St Edmunds with a concert of music and readings by ladies’ choir The Aquarius Singers, and guests, at All Saints Church.
The programme included songs of the time by composers such as Elgar along with sacred music and ended with a peace anthem from Bob Chilcott’s “A Little Jazz Mass”.
On display in the church was a “fountain” of poppies knitted by members of the All Saints’ congregation, and members of the Aquarius Singers.
One knitter, 77-year-old Diane Bishop, made 367 poppies, to represent the number of casualties sustained by the 12th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, in March 1918 during the first battle of Bapaume and included her cousin 2nd Lt Arthur Wilson Barnard, who died of wounds aged 24 and is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.
She said: “Arthur’s father was my grandmother’s brother and she was someone I knew very well yet no one ever mentioned his name. I think it was too painful. The family lived in Dedham and he was one of eight, with one brother and six sisters. I have a photograph of Arthur’s grave taken by my son, but none of him, but with all those sisters there must be some more relatives, so I am going to keep on digging in the hope of finding out more.”
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She is now knitting purple poppies which mark the many animal victims of the war - it is estimated that eight million horses and donkeys died in the First World War alone.
Armed Forces charity SSAFA and All Saints Church Lighting Fund benefitted from a retiring collection.
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