Remembrance Events, 2018
The Festival of Remembrance
The Festival of Remembrance took place at the Regal Theatre on Saturday, 10th November. The Stowe School of Dance performed 100 years of dance and the Stowmarket Concert Band performed a selection of well-loved tunes.
The Remembrance Parade and Services
The Remembrance Parade and Services took place on Sunday, 11th November. The parade marched off from Red Gables, Ipswich Street at 8.45am to the Paris Church of St Peter and St Mary. Following the Church service, a service took place in the Market Place, where a silence was observed at 11am. The parade once again formed up and marched to Memorial Gate, where the wreath laying ceremony took place at 11.20am.
The Stowmarket Memorial Gates
At the end of the First World War, the area of King’s Meadows was purchased to form a Recreation Ground as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the conflict.
The Recreation Ground was opened on 1st May, 1920 by Mr George Ormes, Chairman of the Stowmarket Urban District Council’s War Memorial Committee. The Memorial Gates to the south side of the Recreation Ground were created in 1920.
The wrought iron work was carried out by Messrs Bayliss, Jones and Bayliss, Victoria Works, Wolverhampton and the brickwork and ground works were carried out by Seamans and Son, Stowmarket.
The Memorial Gates and the First World War tablets were unveiled and dedicated on 13th February, 1921 by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Sir T Courtenay Warner. The purchases were funded by public subscription: a total of £3,458 was raised.
The Stowmarket Memorial Clock
On Sunday, 9th November, 2014, the Stowmarket Memorial Clock was officially unveiled and dedicated following a parade through the town of personnel from Wattisham Flying Station.
The clock, which serves as a memorial to all those who lost their lives in conflict, was designed, manufactured and installed by the Town Council.
During the parade Lord Stevenson, Deputy Lieutenant for Suffolk and Councillor Gerard Brewster, Town Mayor 2014/15 took the salute and following the parade a service was held at the Parish Church of St Peter and St Mary where a two minute silence was observed.
Following the church service, a service was held at the town’s Memorial Gates where the Town Mayor unveiled a bronze plaque which lists seven local men who were previously unknown to the town who lost their lives during the First World War. Research for the names was carried out by Mr Bob Bailey, a member of the Royal Air Force Association. A fly-past of two Apache helicopters from Wattisham Flying Station concluded the ceremony.
Spencer John Bent VC, MM
At the base of the Memorial Clock lies a plaque to an extraordinary local man, Spencer John Bent who was awarded the Victoria Cross in November 1914 whilst on active duty in the First World War.
Spencer epitomises the definition of war hero, and he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his selfless acts of courage.
The plaque was unveiled by his grand-children, Caroline and Stephen on Sunday, 9th November, 2014.
For further details of Spencer John Bent please click here.