Residents and veterans from across the Newmarket area came together in towns and villages on Sunday to remember those who had given their lives in two World Wars and later conflicts across the globe.
At the wreath-laying at Newmarket’s war memorial, a familiar face was missing. Councillor Bill Sadler who died earlier this year, had been chairman of the town branch of the Royal British Legion and for years had been the driving force behind the organisation of the annual commemoration.
On Sunday, the branch’s wreath was laid by new chairman Chris Barker. Legion members were joined by representatives of the Jockey Club, the police force, US air force personnel, the Air Cadets, Scouts, Cubs, Brownies, Beavers and Guides and members of the town council, including town mayor Cllr Andy Drummond, and chairman of Forest Heath District Council Ruth Bowman.
After the Last Post sounded to begin the two-minutes of silence, the parade made its way along the High Street to Tattersalls where the service of remembrance service was held and which included Newmarket Academy student Mia Barnes reading out her and fellow student Emily Martin’s reflections on war after they won a competition at the school.
Janet Clarke, Bill Sadler’s long-time partner and secretary of the Newmarket legion branch said: “I thought everything went very well, Mia was very composed. People were very complimentary.”
In Soham, more than 300 people were at the town’s wreath-laying ceremony at the High Street memorial followed by a service at St Andrew’s Church. After the service members of the US Air Force unveiled a special plaque in the cemetery.
Made from metal from a C130 aeroplane, it was donated by USAF Mildenhall and displays the locations of the cemetery’s war graves.
Glen Woodbridge, chairman of the Soham branch of Royal British Legion, said: “There was lots of young people at the service, which is good to see for the future, but there was also a lot of veterans there as well. It was a good event.”
Mildenhall’s parade began at Sainsbury’s and marched to the war memorial where wreaths were laid. The parade then made its way to St Mary’s Church for a service during which school children read names of the fallen. Among those present were the town’s MP Matt Hancock, the Earl of Iveagh, local cadets and Brownies, as well as a large contingent of service personnel from RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath.
Jude Price, the new chairman of the Mildenhall branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “The children were fantastic. They did everything perfectly. The youngsters from the Sea Cadets did an absolutely wonderful honour guard.
I’ve seen a lot of the military over the years and they were absolutely as good as a professional honour guard. They did a wonderful job.”
“All credit has to go to the former chairman who organised the event,” he said.
Exning’s remembrance service saw the head boy and girl of Exning Primary School lay wreaths and two youngsters from Stepping Stones Pre-School join legion members, councillors, police and residents in paying their respects.
Mike Lovegrove, chairman of Exning British Legion, said the day ‘went very well’ with well over 100 people turning out for the village’s service.
Cheveley saw almost 200 residents turn out to remember those villagers who had made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Organisations represented included the Woman’s Institute and Guides and children from the village primary school also paid their respects at the war memorial before a service in the parish church.
Cheveley’s British Legion branch chairman John Godfrey thanked all those who attended the event.
See more pictures of Sunday's events in this week's Newmarket Journal.