Video/Gallery: Fallen service personnel are remembered on Armistice Day in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury
- Credit: Archant
Poignant two minutes’ silences have been held across west Suffolk at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The services and commemorations today were for Armistice Day, which marks the end of the First World War.
In Bury St Edmunds, crowds gathered around the war memorial outside the town council offices while seven standard bearers took to their positions.
Canon Matthew Vernon, from St Edmundsbury Cathedral, said: “It is good we come together in this place and on this day, and as we gather here we gather with many people around the country at different memorials to mark this special occasion.
“We are gathered here to remember before God those who have died for their country in the tragedy of war.”
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Seven wreaths were placed at the memorial, including by the Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Robert Everitt, on behalf of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, by Stefan Oliver, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Town Council, and by children from Abbots Green Community Primary School.
Public service students from West Suffolk College also attended the occasion.
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Veteran Ron Day, who retired after 16 years as president of the Bury branch of the Royal British Legion today, thanked the public for their kind support. “It is really appreciated,” he said.
Speaking to the EADT, Mr Day, who served with the Royal Air Force at the end of the Second World War, said Remembrance has “got to carry on”. “The school and the students are the life and the future and they need to carry [it] on.”
Mr Everitt added: “We won’t forget if the youngsters are there supporting us and understanding what it’s all about; it’s about Remembrance.”
He said the turnout in the town over the Remembrance weekend had been “amazing”.
Parent Mark Dyer, 32, whose son Joshua from Abbots Green was involved in the event, said the annual event “means a lot”.
He said he remembered his grandparents - including a grandfather who served in the Second World War.
Also in attendance was Second World War veteran Len Manning, who as a 19-year- became a Rear Gunner in a Lancaster Bomber. He was shot down behind enemy lines on his third mission and bailed out from 4,000 feet with his parachute on fire. Despite suffering sever burns, he survived and spent seven months hidden by the French resistance.
Mr Manning, from Little Waldingfield, said: “We seem to get more and more people attending the Armistice Day events every year and this year there has been a lot of young people which is heartening to see.
“I think the display of poppies at the Tower of London has helped to focus people’s attention.”
A second service took place at the memorial at Acton Airfield which was in constant use during the Second World War when many American troops were stationed in and around the village.