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Communities honour West Norfolk's war dead ahead of Remembrance weekend


By Lynn News Reporter


Pupils parade with RBL Standard Bearer and Soldier Drummer to Tower Gardens, War Memorial King's Lynn, to view the remembrance garden etc...The Pupils from Magdalen Academy, St Germans Academy, Wimbotsham and Stow Academy arrive at Tower Gardens. (5285093)
Pupils parade with RBL Standard Bearer and Soldier Drummer to Tower Gardens, War Memorial King's Lynn, to view the remembrance garden etc...The Pupils from Magdalen Academy, St Germans Academy, Wimbotsham and Stow Academy arrive at Tower Gardens. (5285093)

Books, concerts and creative displays of poppies are just some of the ways that this period of Remembrance is being marked by people from West Norfolk.

A host of events will be taking place around the area this weekend to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

As well as the traditional programme of services and the lighting of beacons to symbolise the light of peace, there will be a vigil at St Faith’s Church, Gaywood this Saturday, between 2 and 8pm.

For many, though, the reflections have already begun and there can be few more poignant ways to start than with the words of a man who saw the horrors of that conflict from the front line.

Alick Lewis Ellis, from Terrington St Clement, wrote poetry while serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps on the Western Front.

But his work remained undiscovered for nearly a century until it was found during a house clearance.

From there, the original notebook was handed to a First World War-themed community project in Hertfordshire, whose officials tracked down Alick’s closest living relatives, his great nephew Peter Ellis and great niece Pat Russell.

Pat Russell and Peter Ellis share the poems of their great-uncle Alick Lewis Ellis, of Terrington St Clement, at a book launch in Aldershot (5286847)
Pat Russell and Peter Ellis share the poems of their great-uncle Alick Lewis Ellis, of Terrington St Clement, at a book launch in Aldershot (5286847)

On Friday, they were at the Museum of Military Medicine in Aldershot for the launch of the book they have compiled of Alick’s work, Field Dressings By Stretcher Bearer, in conjunction with the Self-Publishing Partnership.

A contribution from each copy sold is being donated to Veterans with Dogs and mental health charity Combat Stress.

Pat said: “This has been a journey of discovery for all our family and it hands on a tangible legacy to the next generation.

“We are thrilled that it is one of many creative pieces that ensure we will never forget those who paid, and those who still pay, the ultimate sacrifice.”

Copies can be obtained online via www.fielddressings.co.uk.

Another group who have been honouring the fallen are dozens of Lynn-based school children who performed in a national concert in Birmingham.

A total of 45 youngsters from Springwood High School and the St Martha’s Primary School took part in the inaugural National Children’s Remembrance event at the Genting Arena on Saturday.

The groups were supported by staff from the Norfolk Music Hub in preparation for the show.

Springwood High School students have taken part in a national concert to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War (5286774)
Springwood High School students have taken part in a national concert to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War (5286774)

Closer to home, dozens more youngsters took part in an event in Lynn’s Tower Gardens on Wednesday as part of the continuing commemorations.

Pupils from the Magdalen Academy, St Germans Academy and the Wimbotsham and Stow Academy laid poppy crosses in the shadow of the There But Not There Tommy silhouette after parading to the site.

Pupils parade with RBL Standard Bearer and Soldier Drummer to Tower Gardens, War Memorial King's Lynn, to view the remembrance garden etc...The Pupils from Magdalen Academy, St Germans Academy, Wimbotsham and Stow Academy arrive at Tower Gardens. (5285098)
Pupils parade with RBL Standard Bearer and Soldier Drummer to Tower Gardens, War Memorial King's Lynn, to view the remembrance garden etc...The Pupils from Magdalen Academy, St Germans Academy, Wimbotsham and Stow Academy arrive at Tower Gardens. (5285098)

One of the features of this year’s Remembrance period has been the creative ways in which community groups have been used the symbol of the poppy to honour their fallen.

Among them is the St Mary’s Church in Feltwell, where volunteers have knitted and crocheted a display of around 3,500 poppies around the altar.

The display will remain in place until Sunday, when it will be placed on railings around the war memorial for the service, before being returned to the church afterwards.

The Wall of Poppies created in St Mary's Church, Feltwell (5286705)
The Wall of Poppies created in St Mary's Church, Feltwell (5286705)

A slide show will also show all the 46 men from the village who were killed during the First World War.

Meanwhile, residents in Emneth have been encouraged to wear poppies made from re-used plastic bottles in return for donations.

Poppies that have placed outside Emneth Methodist church. (5263191)
Poppies that have placed outside Emneth Methodist church. (5263191)

People are being given the chance to take a poppy from the display at the village’s Methodist church in support of the campaign.

Groups including the Swaffham Lions have been helping with sales of the traditional poppies for the Royal British Legion appeal.

Swaffham Lions club members Keith Mitchell & Ian Harding selling poppies in the town (5286726)
Swaffham Lions club members Keith Mitchell & Ian Harding selling poppies in the town (5286726)

And community leaders in Southery have commissioned a new memorial, featuring the Tommy silhouette and a marble stone with a locally written poem to mark the anniversary.



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