Descendents of victims of a Zeppelin attack on Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury will gather for a memorial service on the raid’s centenary.
The service at noon on April 1 in Bury’s Borough Cemetery Chapel is organised by Armstrongs Funeral Service at the request of Colin Jamieson.
Colin’s grandmother Annie Dureall and two of her children were killed in Bury on the night of March 31, 1916 Colin’s mother, Evelyn, was temporarily blinded in the attack, which killed 28 across the east..
In June 2014 Armstrongs, without charge, helped Annie’s family to put a cross on her grave in the cemetery after the Jamiesons had found it unmarked while visiting Bury from their home in Milton Keynes.
Colin said: “I realised it was coming up to 100 years since the event and thought it would be nice to get other families involved to come up with a commemoration.”
The 15 going from his family include a cousin he did not know he had until the story of the grave marker came out.
Among those going will be Reg Adams from Newmarket Road, Bury, whose grandfather Henry Adams and uncle George were killed in the raid. Reg’s father Ernest narrowly escaped death when a bomb dropped near them as they went to check a council horse Henry worked with,
Reg said: “I remember them when I visit their grave a few times each year, but it is good to remember these days of our history.”
Henry’s great granddaughter Jacqui Larter, of Fornham St Martin, said: “It is important to commemorate this event. It isn’t just about the history of this town but the history of families greatly affected by a tragic event.”
The Zeppelin went on to bomb Sudbury where Glenda Gilman’s paternal grandfather’s brother Thomas Ambrose and his wife Ellenwere killed at 35 East Street, along with neighbours Ellen Wheeler and John Smith.
Sudbury-born Glenda had hoped to make the trip from Buxton, Derbyshire, to the service and hopes her sister Sunniva Reynolds, from Bury, can be there.
Glenda said: “I think it is important to make such a commemoration public so people will want to know more, and we never forget the sacrifice of innocent, ordinary and defenceless people who were brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours.
“I also feel this would have meant a lot to my father were he alive today.”