Video/Gallery: Armistice commemorated across east Suffolk
Schools, offices and public spaces fell silent across Suffolk as the region united in quiet reflection and prayer on Remembrance Day.
Thousands gathered in towns and villages to salute the fallen as the 11th hour signified an end to hostilities on the Western Front and a prelude to peace in Europe.
The centenary of the outbreak of war leant added perspective to Armistice commemorations, which yesterday marked a ceasefire declared only after four years of bloody conflict and millions of deaths.
A crowd assembled on Woodbridge’s Market Hill for the rededication of the town’s war memorial and official opening of a new Garden of Remembrance by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lord Tollemache.
Town councillors and members of the Rotary Club, Royal British Legion (RBL) and Woodbridge Museum formed a committee earlier in the year to raise cash for restoration of the memorial, as well as extended paving and disabled access via a new gate.
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Pupils at Saxmundham Free School created individual remembrance poppies and researched what caused the war, before members of the combined cadet force marched in full uniform to the town’s memorial to lay a wreath at the remembrance service organised by Saxmundham Royal British Legion and the town council.
Back at the school, pupils observed a two-minute silence and Saskia Biggs played the Last Post.
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Classroom activities reflected the purpose of Armistice Day, with pupils beginning work on entries for the national Never Such Innocence poetry and art competition, before completing numeracy tasks connected to the war and dining on a First World War menu in the school canteen with lunch guest and Second World War tank commander Captain Albert Pond.
A giant human poppy was formed on the school field before a period of reflection marked the end of a day’s commemorations.
Parham Airfield Museum, near Framlingham, took inspiration from the Tower of London by casting a cascade of poppies from its control tower in remembrance of the 740 locally-based American airmen who died during the Second World War.
The 740 poppies were crafted by youngsters from Framlingham Beavers, Cubs and Brownies, as well as Thomas Mills High School and Saxmundham Free School pupils, and members of Cransford ‘Friday Club’.
Museum president Peter Kindred opened a short service at the weekend before project organiser Judy Moore praised the effort of those involved and read examples of their own personal tributes, including that of Erin Mulley, who wrote in a tribute to airman John Paterson: “You risked your life for the safety of others. You are inspirational to me and you are remembered”.
Thomas Mills student Tom Cox spoke of preparations on mission morning and John Moore, head of history, read the recollections of Albert Redwine, a tail gunner whose B-17 lost altitude having been hit by flak and crashed near the English coast.