Today is Armistice Day and an 11am service at the town’s war memorial was the first event in a weekend of remembrance.
Marking the time the guns fell silent on November 11, 1918, the service was conducted by St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s Canon Cedric Catton, wearing his mother’s medals for work she did with the St John’s Ambulance tending the injured in Ipswich in World War Two.
The service, organised by the town council, brought together children, veterans, local military personnel and civic dignitaries.
St Edmundsbury’s mayor Julia Wakelam, whose grandfather served in the Middle East in World War One, said: “It’s really important that the borough participates in these events every year and honours those who gave their lives for our country.
She and town council chairman Andrew Speed were among those laying wreaths after the two minute’s silence, followed by a group of children from Abbots Green Primary School laying their home made wreath of poppies they had coloured in.
Services were held in villages and military bases including at the Army’s Wattisham Flying Station where a simple yet poignant ceremony involved members of all three of the base’s units – 3 and 4 Regiment Army Air Corps and 7 Aviation Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, who together operate and maintain the Apache attack helicopter.
This afternoon at 1pm a wreath was laid at the Luke Southgate memorial garden, at the St Olaves Precinct, which has been renovated with support from Cllr Tom Murray’s locality fund. Howard Estate’s Luke was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
There is another remembrance service in the Abbey Gardens’ Rose Garden at 2pm tomorrow and the full Remembrance Sunday parade and wreath laying, attended by past and present service people, is on Angel Hill from 10.30am on Sunday November 13.
That is followed by a remembrance service in St Mary’s Church at 11.30am.
There is a Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at The Apex, Bury, at 7pm on Armistice Day, featuring the RAF Honington Voluntary Band and The Voice Squad Youth Choir.