War memorial restored and commemorative beacon installed in Long Melford to mark centenary of Armistice Day
Long Melford is preparing to honour 150 men and women lost during the First World War, following the restoration of its war memorial, and the installation of a new commemorative beacon.
Work to restore the memorial outside Holy Trinity Church in Rectory Gardens was completed this week, in anticipation of the village’s Armistice Day centenary commemorations.
The repairs were ordered by Long Melford Parish Council, following a number of complaints that the monument’s condition had deteriorated significantly over several years.
Long Melford has also recently seen the addition of a new seven-metre tall memorial beacon on the village green, which will be lit for the first time on November 11 by Lady Jean Hyde Parker.
The parish council says it hopes both features will serve as a fitting tribute to the village’s war fallen.
Parish and district councillor John Nunn told the Free Press: “The repercussions of the war were widely felt for a long time afterwards, with the loss of so many men and women.
“It was a severe blow to a village of this size, especially the loss of so many industrial workers in Long Melford.
“At that time, we had coconut matting and weaving, horsehair weaving and a large iron foundry. The loss to this industry had a knock-on effect for many years.
“There are several well-known Long Melford names today that can be found on the war memorial.
“I was at the memorial talking to the stonemason the other day, and a member of the public happened to walk by, gave a thumbs up and said they were doing a brilliant job.
“The reaction to the restoration from the public has been very good. It’s money well spent.”
The Long Melford Remembrance Day parade will begin at 10am on November 11, forming in Chemist Lane, opposite the Bull Hotel.
It will be led by 295 Squadron Witham and Rivenhall air cadets band, and it will also include representatives from Sudbury Army Cadet Force, Sudbury Air Training Corps and USAF Lakenheath, as well as a number of local organisations.
Later that day, another remembrance service, arranged by the Rev Matthew Lawson, will be held around the beacon at 6.30pm.
The Last Post is to be played by the Long Melford Silver Band prior to the beacon’s lighting at 7pm, followed by the ringing of the Holy Trinity church bells.