Poppies flutter down from the ceiling for annual St George’s Theatre remembrance event

Great Yarmouth Festival of Remembrance at St George's Theatre

Great Yarmouth Festival of Remembrance at St George's Theatre - Credit: Archant

The annual civic Festival of Remembrance attracted large audiences to St George’s Theatre on Saturday who stood in silence as the poppy leaves made by children at St George’s School fluttered down from the ceiling.

The Last Post and Reveille were played from the balcony by soloist Ray Todd, a member of the Norfolk Fellowship Brass of the Salvation Army who led the event.

It was the third year the festival had been staged but this time extended to two performances to cope with the demand for tickets.

After a break last year the Winterton Marine Cadets made a welcome return both marching and also provided the Drumhead Ceremony recreating the way in which drums and flags are used to create a temporary altar in war zones.

The Cadets were joined this year by the East Norfolk Militia in their colourful uniforms who also formed a guard of honour at the entrance to St.George’s.

The Fellowship Brass conducted by David Woodrow provided a range of music including the Floral Dance and a flag waving selection of patriotic songs joined by soloist Elayne Green for Rule Britannia. The stirring Dam Busters March played to an excerpt from the 1957 film on the big projector screen was also a highlight. The Mayor’s Chaplain, the Rev Albert Cadmore led the Remembrance Service with the British Legion’s Irene Williams providing the traditional We Will Remember Them and Kohima Epitaph.

Ellie Darnell and Scarlett Black performed Andrew’s Sisters songs in both song and dance; the show’s co-director Paul Amer also provided three familiar war time favourites included We’ll Meet Again which ended the section telling the story of the evacuation of hundreds of Great Yarmouth schoolchildren early in World War Two.

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This was brought to life by 13 year Tom Scoggins who played the part of Gorleston former head teacher Alan Barham whose parents were killed in a raid on their Northgate Street pub while he was in Nottinghamshire. Mr.Barham and his wife Gillian attended the 2pm performance and added his own memories.

Tom Scoggins also opened the Festival dressed as a young soldier and reading the poem about the Battle of the Somme written earlier this year by Gorleston man Les Nicholls who had been inspired by watching some of the centenary celebrations of the battle on television. The Festival was hosted by Tony Mallion who co-directed it, working with Civic Events Manager Laura Goodman. The profits will be divided between the Royal British Legion and the Salvation Army.