Eastbourne residents pay their respects to the fallen

A cadet places a wreath at the memorial
A cadet places a wreath at the memorial

THOUSANDS of people across Eastbourne paused to remember the town’s war dead during a host of memorial events.

The biggest gathering was in the town centre on Sunday where hundreds of veterans, cadets and servicemen and women paraded through the streets to the main war memorial – with many more lining the roads to see them on their way.

A touching service led by Reverend John Kimberley was then impeccably observed, accompanied by music from the Eastbourne Citadel Salvation Army Band.

Eastbourne mayor Councillor Carolyn Heaps read a passage from the Bible before the laying of the wreaths and march past.

On Friday more than 150 people attended the remembrance service in Hampden Park, conducted by Father Robin Tree from St Mary’s, with help from Deacon Joan Mann.

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd read a lesson and Chris Rollison MBE, the chairman of Eastbourne Royal Sussex Association, read the exhortation. There were also wreaths laid by, among others, the deputy mayor, The Friends of Hampden Park, veterans, police cadets and members of the public.

Pupils from St Bede’s School were among those at the Redoubt Fortress on Friday – choosing to dress in authentic First World War clothes as part of a performance. Youngsters from Ocklynge School were also on hand to pay their respects to the town’s fallen, at the fortress’s simple yet striking memorial, decked out in poppies.

Standards were also lowered at Butts Brow during a service to remember the crew of the Ruthless – a bomber that went down during the Second World War after being badly damaged by the enemy, killing all on aboard back on February 2, 1944.

Both the mayor and the local MP found time in their busy Remembrance Sunday schedule to attend.

And on Armistice Day itself (Friday), the town came to a near standstill as office workers, shoppers and passers by stopped to observer the traditional two- minute silence at 11am.

The Arndale Centre hosted a string of standard bearers and veterans as dozens took time to remember those who had given their life for Queen and country.

• For more pictures view our Remembrance services slide show, or see this week’s Gazette and Herald newspapers.