Video: Young and old unite to pay tribute to the fallen at Great Yarmouth Festival of Remembrance
14:14 10 November 2014
(C) Archant Norfolk 2014
There was an added poignancy to remembrance in this centenary year of commemoration of the outbreak of the Great War, when so many families lost loved ones.
The Festival of Remembrance held on Saturday in the presence of the Mayor Marlene Fairhead and the High Sheriff, Lady Dannatt, united both young and old in paying tribute to all who have fallen in the service of their country.
This very moving occasion culminated in the release from the ceiling of paper poppies made by pupils of seven schools in the borough. The Rev Albert CaDmore, the Mayor’s Chaplain, conducted a Service of Remembrance, when following the solemn Nightfall in Camp the poppies fell gradually during the two minutes silence.
The Festival, which was hosted by Tony Mallion, opened with the Drumhead Ceremony, enacted by the Winterton Marine Cadets. The important part played by music in raising morale of both troops and civilians in wartime and in the ensuing period between the wars was recalled and the Norfolk Fellowship Brass contributed selected items including We’ll Gather Lilacs, soloist Ray Todd, Love Changes Everything, and Benedictus, from The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace, with soloist C Giles. The audience were invited to join in patriotic songs, Keep The Home Fires Burning resonating memorably.
The Festival was enhanced by the presence of five members of the Stage Door Theatre Company who spoke Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce et decorum est and then quoted from letters written by a 17 year old soldier in the trenches, Stephen Brown, to his mother. This was extremely moving, especially as Wilfred Owen was killed on 4 November 1918, just a week before Armistice.
Gifted local author Ann Neve who has written two books set during the First World War read aloud a very evocative passage from her work Ride Upon the Storm which captured everybody’s imagination. This was followed by the Dambusters’ March. played by the Norfolk Fellowship Brass, and was accompanied by footage of the 1955 film. j
During the second part of the afternoon film of the late First World War Veteran Henry Allingham’s visit to Great Yarmouth some years ago was shown. The Festival was further enhanced by an illustrated talk given by David McDermott on the German zeppelin raid on the town which killed two civilians in St Peter’s Plain in 1915.
Members of the Royal British Legion paraded their standards during this unforgettable and extremely moving occasion. The Mayor Cllr Marlene Fairhead who was visibly moved thanked everybody who had contributed to the organisation and presentation of this occasion which will surely be among the most memorable of her year of office.
Tony Mallion also thanked all those who had helped with organisation of the event and especially the Stage Door Theatre Company.
During the interval Ann Neve who with Irene Williams of the RBL had been selling poppies during the previous fortnight in Morrisons was signing copies of her books for the RBL and Colin Tooke was also selling copies of his new book Great Yarmouth in the Great War, all proceeds going to the charity. Also in the restaurant the touring exhibition about local people’s experiences during the war curated by the Time and Tide museum was on display.