Fallen heroes remembered

FALLEN war heroes were remembered across East Anglia yesterday with two minutes' silence during Armistice Day ceremonies.In towns and villages across the region, servicemen and women who died fighting for Britain were honoured.

FALLEN war heroes were remembered across East Anglia yesterday with two minutes' silence during Armistice Day ceremonies.

In towns and villages across the region, servicemen and women who died fighting for Britain were honoured.

The Ipswich branch of the Royal British Legion led the town's commemoration of the war dead.

Children from Springfield junior, Britannia primary, Murrayfield primary and Sidegate primary schools laid crosses on each of the graves in the First World War and Second World War Fields of Honour at Ipswich cemetery.

A maroon rocket fired from Christchurch Park at 11am marked the two-minutes' silence and the start of yesterday's ceremony, which the Mayor of Ipswich, Roger Fern and the Deputy Mayor, Penny Breakwell, attended.

The town centre of Halesworth came to a standstill as people of all ages paid their respect to those who had made the ultimate sacrifice during two world wars and other conflicts.

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The two-minute silence at 11am organised by the Halesworth and District Royal British Legion, was impeccably observed.

Shops and businesses closed their doors and staff joined shoppers to line up along the town's pedestrianised Thoroughfare.

Meanwhile, in Southwold, the hooter from Adnams Brewery signalled the start and finish of the two minutes' silence.

Scores of people met around the town's war memorial, near St Edmund's Church, and even the shouts from children playing at the nearby Southwold Primary School stopped after the hooter was heard.

Rev Jane Wilson led the prayers before and after the silence and asked people not just to remember those who died during the two world wars, but also those who have died while on duty in Iraq, particularly those from the Black Watch regiment.

In Colchester, veterans were joined by members of the public and the Mayor, John Bouckley, to hold the silence on the steps of Town Hall.

Former servicemen lined the edge of High Street as a bugler from the band of the Parachute Regiment played the Last Post from the hall's balcony.

The sound of maroon rockets being fired in the background from the castle was the only noise to be heard as the town remembered those lost in the two world wars.

Standard-bearer, Jack Read, 77, said of the emotions of the day: “It brings memories back of fellows who did not come back. I have lost one or two friends along the way.”

Fellow standard-bearer, Charlie Carter, 82, said: “Today was very emotional and brings back many memories. We are entering the end of an era as we lose more comrades day by day.”

Mr Carter stressed that the work of war veterans is not over yet: “We still visit schools and talk to children, to improve their knowledge of history. This is definitely a worthy cause.”

Other services took place across Essex including Clacton, Maldon and Burnham on Crouch.

At Fiveways Co-Op in Colchester, 15-year-old St Benedict's College student Jennifer Coyle played The Last Post.

In Bury St Edmunds, war veterans, council staff, shoppers and residents congregated on the town's Angel Hill to pay their respects.

Around 500 people stood in silence in Stowmarket's Market Place yesterday morning to remembered those who lost their lives serving their country.

During a moving ceremony, the Rev Michael Eden, the town's parish priest, spoke of their sacrifice and standards were lowered.

Gordon Paton, town mayor, said: “I found the occasion very moving and inspirational, it really makes you think about what is important in life.

“It's immensely important to remember all the sacrifices that people made. Soldiers risk their lives in Iraq and others parts of the world today, the same battles are still going on, whatever the rights and wrongs.''

Meanwhile, a pensioner who has sold poppies in her village for 40 years was awarded with a long service medal on Armistice Day.

Children from Cockfield Primary School took part in one of many memorial services across Suffolk in front of 71-year-old Joyce Cocksedge who was honoured after raising thousands for the Royal British Legion.

Mrs Cocksedge, who has also organised a collection in the village for more than 35 years, said she felt it was vital that young people didn't forget about those who served in the First World War.

“I always felt it was a good cause and no one ever came forward to take over. This year we had no house-to-house collection, which was a shame,” she said.

“I think the school children showed that the day would not ever be forgotten and I am sure they will think about what happened in years to come.”

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