Tributes are paid to ‘unknown warriors’ at scaled-down services
- Credit: Archant
Tributes to ‘unknown warriors’ and those who have lost their lives in conflict were paid during a scaled-down Armistice Day service in Lowestoft.
With the continuing coronavirus crisis having led to the town council’s commemorative events being scaled-down or cancelled, a small group gathered at Lowestoft Cemetery on Wednesday to pay their respects.
With the cemetery the scene for the Armistice Day service on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 11 ‘unknown warriors’ were among those being remembered.
The gravestones of the 11 Merchant Navy sailors just refer to those who had died as “A sailor of the Second World War” along with the date they were buried.
Lowestoft’s deputy mayor, councillor Peter Lang, and councillor Andy Pearce, laid a Royal British Legion poppy wreath on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cross of Sacrifice.
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Despite the lockdown, a small group of people gathered for a respectful but socially distanced event, with a two minutes silence being observed at 11am.
A visit was also made to some of the war graves in the cemetery, which feature in the short film “Lest We Forget” that was commissioned by Lowestoft Town Council and features contributions from local historians Ivan Bunn and Bob Collis.
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Mr Collis, who attended Wednesday’s event, said: “As this year sees the centenary of the unknown warrior being interred in Westminster Abbey, it is worth remembering that 11 of the 122 Second World War graves here are ‘unknown warriors’ from the Merchant Navy, most of them having been washed ashore here after their ships were sunk by enemy action in the North Sea.
“Despite all the problems that the pandemic has thrown at the town and the communities here, the people of Lowestoft have once again demonstrated that they recognise the importance of holding a respectful and dignified commemoration.
“Although it has been unlike any previous year, it has been successful in honouring all those members of the armed forces who have lost their lives in times of conflict.
“Lest we forget.”
About 100 people also gathered for a short, socially-distanced service and wreath laying ceremony at Lowestoft war memorial on Wednesday.