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New ‘Tommy’ benches unveiled ahead of First World War centenary event

PUBLISHED: 10:42 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:43 02 October 2018

The new memorial benches being installed in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft. Pictures: Mark Boggis

The new memorial benches being installed in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft. Pictures: Mark Boggis

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New ‘Tommy’ benches have been unveiled ahead of an official dedication and commemoration service to remember the lost men and women of Suffolk during the First World War.

The new memorial benches being installed in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft. Pictures: Mark BoggisThe new memorial benches being installed in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft. Pictures: Mark Boggis

The benches, purchased and installed in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft, by Lowestoft Town Council, will be dedicated at a special event on Sunday, October 7, which is also the main maritime commemoration event in Suffolk.

The event will begin with a parade, forming up at Hamilton Road at 1pm, leaving at 1.30pm and travelling along Whapload Road and up Cart Score before entering Belle Vue Park.

Participants will then form up around the area of the memorial garden in the park to undertake a dedication ceremony.

The ceremony will dedicate the knitted poppies, to be installed in the garden on Saturday, knitted by members of the public and volunteers, as well as the new benches.

The new memorial benches being installed in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft. Pictures: Mark BoggisThe new memorial benches being installed in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft. Pictures: Mark Boggis

Designed to not only remember those who lost their lives during the First World War, the benches do not explicitly depict the dates of the war to allow for the design to remain relevant for soldiers serving and fallen in the wars of today.

Following the dedication ceremony, a formal parade and service of commemoration at the Royal Navy Patrol Service Memorial will take place, with Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Woodcock KCB OBE the reviewing officer and the guest of honour.

Other local representatives and dignitaries will also attend the commemoration, while naval patrol boats such as the HMS Trumpeter and HMS Explorer viewable from the harbour.

A spokesman for the event said: “The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk has developed five core activities leading up to Remembrance Sunday to help all generations of our community to mark this anniversary in an appropriate way, to gain in understanding and to pay tribute to the efforts and sacrifices of those who served and suffered.

“The Maritime Commemoration to be held in Lowestoft on will be the first of these events.”

On Remembrance Sunday itself, a service at the war memorial and events in Sparrows Nest in the evening will be held to mark the centenary.

The series of events in Suffolk have been organised by the Royal British Legion and a small team set up by the Lord Lieutenant Clare, Countess of Euston.

More details can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/maritime-commemoration-suffolk-remembers-1918-2018-tickets-50298191244

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