The heart of Bury St Edmunds’ shopping area came to a halt this afternoon as wreaths were laid on the South African War Memorial in Cornhill.
As the bugler blew the Last Post to start two minute’s silence, shoppers stopped and stood and a van driver used his van to stop traffic turning into the area in front of the memorial.
Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal organiser Dick Palmer said wreaths were laid in the run up to Remembrance weekend because of the number of events.
“We’re now going to lay a wreath at the cemetery, then there’s the Abbey Gardens on Saturday and Sunday it’s the big Remembrance parade,” he said.
Todays ceremony was attended by St Edmundsbury Mayor Robert Everitt and representatives of the Suffolk Regiment, to which the majority of men on the memorial belonged, the fire service and the Grenadier Guards with whom a single man listed, Pvt A Herrington, served.
The South African war, also known as the Boer War, was between Britain, with her Empire forces, and the combined armies of the South African Republic and the Republic of the Orange Free State, who declared war in October 1899. It ended on May 31, 1902.
The Suffolk Regiment served there from 1899 to 1901 and most of its soldiers were territorials.
For a roundup of the main Remembrance Weekend events, see tomorrow’s Bury Free Press.