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Group's Remembrance respects

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:33 03 July 2010

A GROUP gathered to pay its respects in the cold morning sun in the heart of Great Yarmouth as part of the build up to Remembrance Sunday.

The ceremony, known as the Blessing of the Crosses, took place on Tuesday and was held by the war memorial in St George's Park.

A GROUP gathered to pay its respects in the cold morning sun in the heart of Great Yarmouth as part of the build up to Remembrance Sunday.

The ceremony, known as the Blessing of the Crosses, took place on Tuesday and was held by the war memorial in St George's Park.

Proceedings began at 11am as a collection of wellwishers and local dignitaries held a two minute silence in honour of those lost.

This was then finished by Yarmouth Royal British Legion President Michael Ellis reciting an extract from Laurence Binyon's familiar and powerful war poem For the Fallen.

After a speech by the Mayor Tony Smith and prayer by the Rev Irene Knowles, small wooden crosses inscribed with the names of the deceased were placed into an area roped off into the shape of a crucifix.

Wearing his father's medals, Paul Williams placed a cross with the name Regimental Sergeant Major Williams into the ground.

Mr Williams, chairman of the Martham and Great Yarmouth Royal British Legion, reflected on the need for such ceremonies. He said: “It's of tremendous importance because we need to continue to remember our fallen comrades and their families.

“We've been doing such events going back as far as 1921when the Poppy Appeal was first launched and it all builds up to this Sunday.”

Having planted the first of the crosses, the mayor went on to echo the sentiments. He said: “I am here to represent the borough and to remember all of the people who gave service to the country. We are also thinking about what is currently happening in the rest of the world such as places like Iraq or Afghanistan.

“It's for the lads who come back now and who need help. The British Legion is a great help and it is only right that we do our best to assist those who return and have to live with their experiences for the rest of their lives. It's the least we can do to offer our support.”

Turn to page 6 and 7 for reports on two people who lived through the second world war - one here and one in foreign lands, and a list of Remembrance Sunday services.

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