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Norwich and Great Yarmouth pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday

PUBLISHED: 11:58 14 November 2010 | UPDATED: 16:59 14 November 2010

Norwich Remembrance service, the first at the restored War Memorial.; Photo: Bill Smith

Norwich Remembrance service, the first at the restored War Memorial.; Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2010

Hundreds of people fell silent in the centre of Norwich today as they remembered those who have given their lives in times of conflict.

Hundreds paid their respects on Remembrance Sunday

The Remembrance Sunday service at City Hall was led by Lord Mayor of Norwich Tom Dylan who said: “It is so important that we stop to acknowledge, as we do every year, the great sacrifices made for us during times of war and to hope that we are able to learn the lessons of the past in order to enjoy peace in the future.”

The service took place at the newly refurbished war memorial.

After the service, a procession of ex-servicemen, members of the Royal British Legion, voluntary organisations, RAF Marham, army, navy and air force cadets marched through the city, led by the Norwich Citadel Band.

The parade left Gaol Hill and marched along London Street, Opie Street, Castle Meadow, Agricultural Hall Plain and Upper King Street to the cathedral for a salute.

Remembrance Sunday service in Norwich

Along the route streets were lined by members of the public of all ages, keen to show their respect.

Hundreds gathered around the war memorial in St George’s Park, Great Yarmouth for the service of remembrance, although several people were heard to remark that the crowd was smaller than in some previous years.

Veterans proudly sporting their medals were joined by children who looked on in wonderment, impressed by the pageantry but still too young to understand the full import of the occasion.

Some of the families paying their respects noticeably spanned three generations from grandparents who remembered the second world war to children who have grown up with conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The FEPOW service at the Jetty, Great Yarmouth seafront.

On a perfectly still morning, under a hazy blue sky, the haunting sound of Great Yarmouth Brass drifted across the park as a succession of wreaths was laid at the memorial.

Joining service and town organisations in the wreath-laying were diginitaries who included Yarmouth Mayor Michael Jeal and MP Brandon Lewis.

The service was conducted by Yarmouth’s team rector the Rev Chris Terry who, in his address, reminded people of the importance of remembrance in highlighting the sacrifices made “to ensure that we never allow evil to override the virtues of a civilised society”.

The service ended as it had begun with a parade which included representatives of the Royal British Legion, RAF, sea and St John Ambulance cadets and a host of other organisations. The parade ended in the Market Place with the mayor taking the salute.

Following the service, a second remembrance service for Far East service personnel was held at the war memorial close to the Jetty on Yarmouth seafront.

Up to 100 people, including the dignitaries who had attended the earlier service, joined representatives of the Far East Prisoners of War Association (FEPOW) service for the 30 minute service, which finished just before heavy rain set in.

Bert Major, 89, who has served as FEPOW’s treasurer and chairman, was among those present. He served in the army’s Cambridgeshire Regiment during the second world war between 1938-46 and was taken prisoner after being wounded in Johor, Malaysia.

He said: “It is very important that the children and grandchildren and people of the future learn about the sacrifices of Far East soldiers. We will never forget them and our families support us in this.”

In Stalham, a parade left the old railway station in the town for a service at St Mary’s Parish Church.

Wreaths were laid by the Royal British Legion, pupils from the town’s infant primary and high schools and other youth groups including the Sea Scouts,

Rev Simon Lawrence, who is also chairman of the Stalham branch of the Royal British Legion, said there had been well over 300 people at the service.

At Felbrigg in north Norfolk there was a service by the war memorial on the village green.

Marion Walker, from the village all committee, said: “There were about 33 people who also came back to the village hall afterwards. We currently have three people from the village fighting in Afghanistan, so they were mentioned in the service as well. It was very poignant.”

There was also a list on the memorial of names of soldiers from the village who had died during the First World War, after villagers had researched where they were all buried so they could include them on the list.

In Aylsham, a parade left Cawston Road Drill Hall for an afternoon service in St Michael’s Church and wreath-laying at the churchyard war memorial.

Philip Burr, from the Aylsham branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “The church was packed out, there was standing room only. Everything went really well and the weather held off for us.”

At North Walsham, a wreath-laying ceremony and silent tribute at the war memorial in Memorial Park was followed by a parade to St Nicholas’ Church, where a well-attended service of remembrance was led by the vicar, Rev Derek Earis.

The sermon was given by Fr David Bagstaff of the town’s Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, with North Walsham mayor Anne Rose and Royal British Legion branch chairman Colin Chambers giving bible readings.

After wreaths were laid by representatives from local groups and organisations including North Walsham Guides and Scouts, the police and St Nicholas’ Sunday school, refreshments were served up in St Benet’s Hall.

- For more coverage, including pictures, see tomorrow’s newspaper.

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