Galleries: Thousands pay respects to the fallen in Suffolk
WE will remember them. . . thousands of people fell silent across Suffolk and Essex yesterday to pay tribute to those who lost their lives serving their country.
Remembrance Sunday services were held in many towns and villages, with members of the public joining veterans, local dignitaries and serving troops in paying their respects.
In Woodbridge, more than 800 people turned out to mark Remembrance Day at a service in the Market Square. The address was given by The Right Reverend Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.
It followed a parade from Theatre Street to the Garden of Remembrance at the War Memorial, where a two-minute silence was observed and wreaths were laid.
In excess of 100 people took part in the parade, including members of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) from Rock Barracks.
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It was a particularly poignant occasion as David Barnsdale, an acting corporal in 33 Engineer Regiment who had been based in Woodbridge, was killed last month in an explosion in southern Afghanistan. The 24-year-old, from Tring in Hertfordshire, was clearing improvised explosive devices when one detonated in the area east of Gereshk.
Woodbridge Mayor Martin Sylvester said: “It is tremendously fitting that so many people were at the service, and it was immensely rewarding to see to what extent the community turned out to show their support.”
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At Ipswich’s cenotaph in Christchurch Park, spontaneous bursts of applause echoed as the crowds displayed their outpouring of respect for troops past and present.
Laying the first wreath at the base of the cenotaph was the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lord Tollemache on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, followed by the Mayor of Ipswich Jane Chambers on behalf of the people of Ipswich.
Sparking more applause, Lorraine McClure and her brother Allan McClure laid a wreath in memory of Lorraine’s son Aaron, who died while serving with the Royal Anglians in Afghanistan in 2007, in tribute to all those who have lost their lives post-1945.
And veteran Arthur Jolly was applauded as he laid a wreath on behalf of The Ipswich and District Suffolk Regiment Old Comrades.
The 100-year-old was stationed with the second battalion of the regiment in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War.
Addressing the congregation, The Reverend Paul Hamlet said: “We pray for all who suffer as a result of war, the injured and disabled, the mentally distressed, the homeless and the refugees. For all who have lost their livelihoods and security and for those who mourn.”
Roads were closed in Bury St Edmunds, Ixworth and Sudbury to allow the parades to take place.
In Long Melford, the parade was one of the biggest the village has held as residents paid their respects to the fallen.
Representatives from Wattisham Airfield joined Scouts, Guides and youngsters from the Sudbury cadets in a march from the village hall to the church for a service. Colonel John Kressin, of RAF Lakenheath, travelled to the village to show his support and join the march.
John Nunn, vice-chairman of the parish council, said: “The impact of the Remembrance services seems to be growing every year which is wonderful to see and we had a fantastic turnout this year. With our troops committed overseas, this is an opportunity to honour them but also to show that we will never forget those who died in previous conflicts.”
Hundreds of people turned out in Colchester to salute the fallen. They gathered at the war memorial – some hanging off the Castle Park railings to sneak a view – to pay their respects.
Dignitaries including Colchester Mayor Sonia Lewis and MP Bob Russell joined veterans, soldiers and cadets at the Remembrance Day service.
After the two-minute silence – which was impeccably observed – Cllr Lewis led a host of groups in laying wreaths.
Colonel Tom Fleetwood, commander of Colchester Garrison, said: “As always, there was an excellent turnout from the people of Colchester for a very moving service.
“This ceremony has also been held by the soldiers of 16 Air Assault Brigade out in Afghanistan, and it will be of great comfort to them to know the support they have in their garrison town.”