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War anniversary brings home impact of conflict

PUBLISHED: 09:15 04 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:52 06 July 2010

Church Notes

by Christopher J Brooks, parishioner, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Lowestoft



STARTING this week the Marina Theatre begins its second world war 70th anniversary season of shows.

Church Notes

by Christopher J Brooks, parishioner, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Lowestoft

STARTING this week the Marina Theatre begins its second world war 70th anniversary season of shows.

To launch this, historians and museums have collaborated with me to produce and present a wartime slideshow tomorrow to mark this sad chapter that formed and transformed so many lives of Lowestoft and military service folk who had to live, work and serve their country in this front-line town.

John Holmes, president of the Jack Rose Old Lowestoft Society, will present the first half assisted by Bob Collis, aviation historian of the Lowestoft War Memorial Museum, to give a view of what it was like for people living at Lowestoft before, during and after the war and with some references to evacuation and Naval bases established here.

As chairman of the Jack Rose Old Lowestoft Society I will present the second half to tell in more detail the story of evacuation, the work of the Naval bases and the Army's defence of Lowestoft assisted by colleagues Robert Jarvis, director of the War Memorial Museum, and John Street, chairman of the Royal Naval Patrol Service Museum, all in aid of local good causes.

The great festival of the Passover in Judaism is celebrated annually in Jewish families as a reminder of the freedom achieved for the Israelites by Moses when he led them from Egypt and slavery to go to the freedom of the promised land. A significant outcome of this being recalled annually is for Jewish families to appreciate the liberation their forefathers experienced and the hardships that were endured along the way.

The story is explained by the elders to the younger members of the family which cements the family bond and ensures the younger members know their roots and provides them with a clear identity.

The annual celebration of the Sacred Triduum, leading to Easter in Catholic churches, provides similar significance to the faithful who wish to re-identify themselves ever more closely Jesus, commemorating the Passion of his last days on earth before his resurrection to heavenly glory, as relayed in all four gospels.

A similar raison d'être of identification and education lies behind holding these wartime commemorations - not to glorify war or gloat in victory, but to remind ourselves of the horrors, hardships and to give thanks for the sacrifices endured to achieve liberation and our basic freedom from terror or tyranny.

We do this lest we forget or do not teach the next generation of the follies of war - something we are all too aware of recently regarding Iraq and Afghanistan.

This coming year former Lowestoft evacuees will be celebrating with major reunions in Lowestoft and Derbyshire to commemorate their 70th anniversary.

When I, as a teacher 20 years ago, realised many of my own teachers at Lowestoft Grammar School had taken the school to Worksop, it became important for me to research this aspect of local heritage and share my findings as a tribute to them.

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