How have Suffolk and Essex marked this year’s Armistice Day?

Despite lockdown restrictions, people in Suffolk and Essex have again come together to remember fallen heroes on Armistice Day.

Services have been held across the two counties in honour of the day, which marks the armistice agreement signed at the end of the First World War.

In Suffolk, schools held services in their playgrounds and took part in the national 11am two-minute silence, while poppy-themed activities have also taken place.

At One Sixth Form College in Ipswich, a bugle was played at the 11th hour, while Suffolk New College hosted a socially-distanced ceremony.

Shirley Aspen, a student at One Sixth Form College, said: “It is always incredibly moving and everyone was very respectful.”

In Bury St Edmunds, students at Abbeygate Sixth Form paused while a student played The Last Post, while another sang a rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

At West Suffolk College, students read out poems at a socially distanced service, while primary pupils at Brookes School, near Risby, sang songs from the First World War and seniors read out their own poems.

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Ipswich-based company Ransomes Turf posted their own tribute on social media, honouring Ransomes’ history in aiding the war effort.

In a tweet, a spokesman said: “During the First World War, the Ransomes factory in Ipswich manufactured 350 Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 fighter biplanes.

“Today we honour all those who bravely fought around the world since WW1.”

Elsewhere, graves of former RAF servicemen have been restored by staff at Ipswich Borough Council at the Old Cemetery in honour of the occasion.

No official ceremony was held in the town, although a small Royal British Legion presence visited the Cenotaph.

In a Facebook post, a curator for the Ipswich War Memorial and Cenotaph, said: “Covid-19 may have stolen the act of remembrance this year but for two minutes the virus can be beaten.”

In Colchester, a service was held at Colchester War Memorial – where a bus driver stopped traffic by switching off his engine to help ensure the silence was honoured.

Town remembrancer Peter Ward read out “In Flanders Field” while wearing a First World War-style uniform.

A silence was also held outside the Town Hall, where mayor Robert Davidson was joined by garrison commander Lieutenant Colonel Jim McManus.

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