From parades in town centres to services in village churches, we saw communities across East Anglia coming together to mark this year’s Remembrance Day and commemorate the centenary of World War One ending. It was wonderful to see so many Cadets and Adult Volunteers playing such an important role in the commemorations.
Many East Anglian Cadets and Adult Volunteers from across the region also took part in battlefield tours, in France and Belgium throughout the Centenary year, as an act of remembrance and to learn more about the Great War.
In the lead up to Remembrance Day, Cadets across the county were out selling poppies and collecting money for the Royal British Legion:
Pic Credit: Essex ACF
On Remembrance Sunday, a huge procession made its way through Chelmsford City Centre, finishing up at the town’s War Memorial. Essex Army Cadets, Adult Volunteers and Sea Cadets took part, alongside War Veterans and the Essex Yeomanry Band.
Pic Credit: Chelmsford Sea Cadets
Army Cadets and CFAVs took part in various events across the county including wreath laying in Bury St Edmunds, and Remembrance Parades in Christchurch Park (pictured below):
Pic Credit: Suffolk ACF
All of the county’s detachments took part in remembrance events and parades, including a Memorial at Norwich City Hall (pictured below) and a parade in Watton.
Pic Credit: Norfolk ACF
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire
Cadets and CFAVs were out and about across the two counties, taking part in the many Remembrance events and parades that took place, including New Cardington and Bishops Stortford (pictured below):
Pic Credit: Beds & Herts ACF
Pic Credit: Bishops Stortford Air Cadets
Cadets and instructors from the county took part in many events from local village commemorations to city centre parades.
Pic Credit: Cambs ACF
Army Cadets and CFAVs from the Eastern Region took part in Battlefield tours in France and Belgium in October. Not only were the tours an opportunity to commemorate and remember the fallen in the WW1 Armistice centenary year, but they also helped to educate the Cadets on the realities of War, the causes behind it and how WW1 ended. Beforehand many Cadets researched their family history and many found ancestors who played a part in WW1,making the trip event more poignant. The Battlefield tours ended with commemorative parades at the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme. The Thiepval Memorial is the largest Commonwealth Memorial to ‘the missing’ in the world – where those without graves are remembered.
Pic credit: ACF – Daniel Turner Photography
We were proud to see so many of our Cadet Force Adult Volunteers participating and making this memorable trip possible. For some Cadets, this was the first time they had been abroad, including 26 Cadets from Norfolk ACF.
Colonel Wilkinson QVRM TD DL VR, Chief Executive of EARFCA said:
“East Anglian communities came out in force to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice and we couldn’t be more proud to see Cadets, Staff and CFAVs playing such a key role in the many commemorative events that took place across the region. We would like to thank the staff and volunteers who made the battlefield tours in France and Belgium possible, providing a once in a lifetime opportunity for cadets to gain a deeper understanding of the war and the sacrifice made by so many.”
Our Colonel is also a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London and spent Remembrance day attending commemorative events in Croydon including a service at Croydon Minster and a parade in the town centre:
“The parade in the centre of the town was about 500 strong with marching contingents from: C Sqn Royal Yeomanry with the Regimental Guidon, RHQ and 508 Sqn 151 Transport Regiment, and a platoon of 103 Regt REME; CCF, Sea Cadets, ACF, RAF AC; Royal British Legion, Parachute Regiment Association, the Irish UN Veterans Association; Girl Guides, Scouts, Motivational Preparation College for Training; the Salvation Army Band, and numerous faith and other voluntary organisations. The streets were full of bystanders too – it was quite something!”
Our role in Armistice 100 Remembrance:
We lent our support to the national Royal British Legion campaign, promoting ways to support such a worthwhile cause and specific fundraising events taking place in the region. We also helped to publicise the huge number of Armistice 100 events that took place on 11th November, including parades and wreath laying services in County Towns such as Chelmsford and Colchester. We used our social media channels and website to raise awareness of the events and shared news stories about the impact of WW1 on communities in East Anglia. And after Remembrance Sunday, we shared many photos of events, parades and commemorations in which Cadets and CFAVs played such a key role in. Overall, throughout the remembrance period we posted on our social channels over 60 times. These posts were shared and commented on over 800 times, helping our posts reach over 20000 people.