September 18 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Saffron Walden fell silent today as the town came together for a moving service to honour the centenary of the First World War.
Thousands of people turned out, lining the streets and packing the market square, as the day began with a parade by soldiers from Carver Barracks in Wimbish.
Troops from 101 and 33 Engineer Regiment were joined by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers, air cadets and members of the Royal British Legion as they marched from Uttlesford District Council’s offices in London Road.
The parade started at about 11.30am and saw the soldiers march past the war memorial, down High Street, King Street and into the market square.
After assembling in front of the town hall, the Rev David Tomlinson began a service alongside the Mayor of Saffron Walden, Councillor Sandra Eden, and chairman of Uttlesford District Council, Cllr Keith Artus.
Poppies then rained down from rooftops around the market square as the names of all 159 men killed in the First World War were read out.
As featured in the Reporter, 92-year-old Bill Lofts read aloud the name of his uncle, Petty Officer Stoker James Lofts.
A number of hymns, including I Vow to Thee, My Country, were sung, before the service was concluded at about 12.30pm.
The soldiers, air cadets and band then marched away to a huge round of applause from everyone who turned out.
• For more on the parade, look out for this week’s Saffron Walden Reporter.