Shoreham falls silent to remember the fallen on Armistice day
Silence descended around Shoreham on Sunday as residents remembered the fallen on Armistice Day.
Marchers from the Army Cadets, Her Majesty's Coastguard, and youth groups from around the town assembled at the Shoreham Community Centre for 9:30am.
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton marched alongside other local figures as the parade set off at 9:45am.
Despite rain pouring down just before, spirits were not dampened as onlookers watched the parade march through the town.
As the parade proceeded towards the Church of St Mary de Haura, a solemn silence surrounded the church bells.
Observers looked thoughtfully at a grave adorned with knitted poppies and snippets of war poetry near the church entrance.
Reverend Ann Waizenenker then led a service inside the church at 10am.
At 11am two minutes’ silence were held at the war memorial outside the church, where wreaths were later laid.
The bells rang out for an hour from St Mary de Haura Church at 12.30pm, in unison with thousands of bells across the country. They were played by a group of new recruits who have been learning the ancient art of bell-ringing in preparation for the event.
Councillor Joss Loader, chairman of Adur District Council, said: “As Adur joined the nation in commemorating the centenary of the Armistice, it was heart-warming to see so many families out with their children, paying their respects.
“I have never seen so many people at the Shoreham War Memorial and St Mary's Church was filled to capacity.
"It was a great honour and a very humbling experience to lay the wreaths in Shoreham and Lancing and to remember those who laid down their lives to defend the freedoms that we largely take for granted today.”
In Shoreham's East Street, a musical collaboration between Quayside Yuke and the Wellington Wailers took place at 2pm, which included handbell-ringing.
A First World War exhibition at the Marlipins Museum in High Street, Shoreham, held a special Sunday opening from 11.30am to 3.30pm. The display included photographs showing the town during the war, artefacts and other items from the museum’s collection - all curated by a group of nine dedicated volunteers.
At Shoreham Fort, lanterns were laid around a beacon as part of the Battle’s Over event - an international commemoration marking 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The event started at 6pm with a talk from Father Terry, followed by readings from Caroline Nicholls, the High Sheriff of West Sussex and Julie Searle, a trustee of the Friends of Shoreham Fort.
At 6.20pm, red lanterns were laid around the beacon, one for each name on the Shoreham War Memorial, by residents who currently live where the fallen men once lived in Shoreham and by volunteers organised by Marlipins Museum.
Afterwards, the public attending were invited to light a candle to remember whoever they choose to remember.
At 6.55pm, the Last Post was played over the speakers followed by a two minute silence and then the playing of the Reveille.
At 7pm, Caroline Nicholls then lit the beacon along with the single firing of WW1 rifles by members of the Royal Sussex Living History Group.
The bells then rang out again from St Mary de Haura church in a quarter peal, which lasted for around 45 minutes.
Ahead of Armistice day on Sunday, a number of events took place at schools in the town.
Shoreham College held a well attended Remembrance service at the school on Thursday.
Swiss Gardens primary school displayed one of the Tower of London poppies, which was generously gifted by grandparent Suzy Franklin. Anthony Morris, a friend of the school, built a custom made oak display box for it which bears the inscription 'lest we forget'. He said: “If one child looks at it and thinks I’d like to find out about the war then I will be pleased!”
Pupils had a moment of thought in assembly followed by a minute’s silence at 11.00 am to remember those fallen in all wars and to think about and remember those currently serving in our armed forces.
A symbolic oak tree was planted in Buckingham Park, Shoreham, by Adur District Council chairman Joss Loader on Friday. Pupils from Buckingham Park Primary School attended, with year-six pupils writing poems and prose from the perspective of frontline soldiers and those who stayed behind.
Additional reporting by Sam Brooke.