VIDEO: West Norfolk pauses to remember centenary of the Somme

Communities across West Norfolk have paused to honour the sacrifices made during the Battle of the Somme a century ago.

Civic leaders, service veterans, charity representatives and members of the public packed All Saints’ Church in Lynn’s Hillington Square for a commemoration service on Friday, the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle.

Act of Remembrance for Centenary of Battle of the Somme. Tower Gardens King's Lynn ANL-160307-131309009

Act of Remembrance for Centenary of Battle of the Somme. Tower Gardens King's Lynn ANL-160307-131309009

West Norfolk’s mayor, David Whitby, then led a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial in Tower Gardens.

Candles were also lit and a light placed in Greyfriars Tower, which will remain there until November, commemorating each of the 141 days of the battle.

More than 1.3 million Allied and German soldiers were killed or wounded during the battle.

And, during the service, Father Adrian Ling, the rector of All Saints’ read details of four soldiers from Lynn who served and died during the battle.

Act of Remembrance for Centenary of Battle of the Somme. Tower Gardens King's Lynn Pictured King's Lynn Town Mayor David Whitby. ANL-160307-131331009

Act of Remembrance for Centenary of Battle of the Somme. Tower Gardens King's Lynn Pictured King's Lynn Town Mayor David Whitby. ANL-160307-131331009

He said the battle was “a terrible reminder of the human cost of war, in which there is often no clear distinction between victory and defeat.”

Elsewhere, a two minute service in Fakenham on Friday morning was ended bythe sound of a whistle, similar to that which launched the attack and sent so many to their deaths.

The names of 10 men who died during the battle and who are honoured on the town’s war memorial were also read out.

Wreaths were also laid at the war memorial in Downham during their commemoration event on Saturday morning.

Battle of the Somme Centenary Service Downham Markket War memorial. ANL-160307-131638009

Battle of the Somme Centenary Service Downham Markket War memorial. ANL-160307-131638009

Battle of the Somme Centenary Service Downham Markket War memorial. Pictured Robin Pegg . ANL-160307-131543009

Battle of the Somme Centenary Service Downham Markket War memorial. Pictured Robin Pegg . ANL-160307-131543009

Battle of the Somme Centenary Service Downham Markket War memorial. Pictured Downham Town Mayor Marion Ross ANL-160307-131605009

Battle of the Somme Centenary Service Downham Markket War memorial. Pictured Downham Town Mayor Marion Ross ANL-160307-131605009

Battle of the Somme Centenary Service Downham Markket War memorial. ANL-160307-131627009

Battle of the Somme Centenary Service Downham Markket War memorial. ANL-160307-131627009