Suffolk/Essex: Communities prepare for the centenary of Great War

Troops heading for the First World War battlefield.

Troops heading for the First World War battlefield. - Credit: Submitted

The centenary of the official declaration of war in 1914 falls on Monday – and there are many events across the region to mark the solemn anniversary.

Bury St Edmunds’ Cathedral is holding a special County Service of choral evensong on Sunday afternoon which will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lord Tollemache, and the acting Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Rt Rev David Thomson.

There is also a special event at the cathedral on Monday evening to mark the countdown to the start of the war featuring music and poetry.

In Ipswich there will be a march past and parade on Sunday morning by volunteer members of the Territorial Army based in the town. In the afternoon there is a special service at St Matthew’s Church.

On Monday evening there is a special “Lights Out” ceremony at the Cenotaph in Christchurch Park which will mark the declaration of war.


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The events on Monday will tie in with national commemorations of the start of the conflict which are being led by a special televised service from Westminster Abbey.

Communities across the region are holding their own events to mark the anniversary of the start of the “War to end all Wars.”

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Woodbridge Methodist Church has a special exhibition to commemorate the members of the church who lost their lives in the war and whose names are included on its war memorial.

In Colchester there is a civic ceremony at the town’s war memorial at on Monday evening which will be led by the mayor and other leading figures.

In Clacton there will be an open air service on the West Greensward on Sunday morning to remember those who fell in the war.

The chairman of the Ipswich branch of the Royal British Legion, Robin Vickery, has helped to organise the events in the town and said people must remember the sacrifices made in the war.

He said: “These events are very important. The Royal British Legion is the custodian of our remembrance in this country.

“When you talk to people they pass down family memories from the First World War and it is vital that we do all we can to keep those alive for current and future generations across the country.

See Friday’s Ipswich Star and Saturday’s EADT for our special Roll of Honour supplements, carrying the names of all those honoured on the county’s war memorials.

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