Town's First World War heroes remembered at huge commemoration ceremony
PUBLISHED: 19:03 07 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:03 08 October 2018
Archant © 2018
People came out in their droves to honour the brave men and women of Suffolk who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War - 100 years after the war ended.
The Suffolk Maritime Commemoration was staged at Lowestoft’s Belle Vue Park on Sunday, October 7 and was joint organised by Lowestoft Town Council.
The event is the first of five developed by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk Lady Clare of Euston to help all generations gain an understanding and pay tribute to those who suffered during the war.
It began with an impressive parade of Sea Cadets, Sea Scouts, The Royal Hospital School Band and the Royal Naval Association from Hamilton Road to the park.
The parade surrounded the park’s new poppy-shaped memorial garden, which features more than 3,000 knitted poppies and two ‘Tommy’ benches, as the Lord Lieutenant and Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Woodcock led a dedication ceremony.
During the war Lowestoft lost 716 men and women.
And Lady Clare explained the essential role the town played through supplying the nation with food despite constant attack.
She said: “It is impossible to exaggerate the level of threat that Lowestoft faced
“But with unparalleled courage Lowestoft held its ground and continued to supply the country with fish.
“I’m sure in the years to come many of us will sit in the garden to stop, reflect and remember.”
Sir Jonathan added: “Hopefully this will be somewhere the young of Lowestoft will enjoy and cherish and learn from and become more than just another memorial.”
Following the dedication the parade continued through the park to the Royal Naval Patrol Service Memorial, where a commemoration ceremony took place and wreaths were placed.
Mike Mizen, chairman of the Royal Naval Association’s Norwich branch, said remembrance events were vital to pay respect to those who fought for their country.
He said: “It is essential people remember and pay homage to those who have given their lives for their country, especially younger people.
“If they are not aware of what has been sacrificed in the past they will take what they have now for granted. Everything we have now, especially the freedoms, have been hard earned.”