Sunday, August 3, 2014
Voices from the past were brought to life in Great Yarmouth today when the borough marked the outbreak of war with a civic service and town centre parade.
Members of the public, councillors and dignitaries filled Yarmouth Minster to sing hymns, reflect and hear readings.
They listened to the words of young men who signed up in 1914, expecting the battles to be over in a matter of months. They also heard how one mother, who lost five sons in the war and had another left disabled for life, was thanked for her sacrifice only to reply: “It was no sacrifice, I did not give them willingly.”
Germany’s declaration of war and Sir Edward Grey’s speech to the House of Commons, both made on the eve of war exactly 100 years ago, were also read aloud.
Team rector, the Rev’d Canon Christopher Terry said: “Today is not about remembering the jingoistic fever that wrongly assumed the war would be over by Christmas but to reflect on the causes of such wars and to pray we may work together to build mutual respect and peace between nations.”
The Minster is currently hosting a free exhibition on the First World War.
Tomorrow, the borough will mark the war’s centenary with a ‘lights out’ service at the Minster at 10.30pm.
Before that there will be a family event at the Sealife Gardens from 11am to 4pm featuring Home Guard training drills, an on-site field hospital, 1914 St John’s Ambulance book, a chance to trace your family tree, talks on women in the war, the Royal British Legion, music from the TS Fearless and TS Warriors cadets and a Service of Remembrance at 3.30pm.