Big crowd to watch beacon of peace in Ely after a day in which Ely Cathedral filled for biggest Remembrance Day service in memory
- Credit: Archant
A large crowd gathered for the lighting of the city’s new beacon of peace to commemorate the end of a remarkable Remembrance Day in Ely.
Similar events were staged throughout the county but at Ely there was a new beacon to admire that will now stand permanently on the green in front of St Mary’s parish church.
Mayor Mike Rouse thanked Richard de la Haye and the city’s estates team for constructing the beacon and thanked Allen’s skip hire for installing it.
He also thanked Peter Holden and the horticultural society for planting the flower bed and thanked the Rev Chris Hill and the St Mary’s team and the British Legion for their support.
Town crier Avril Hayter-Smith gave the cry for peace and the bells of St Mary rung out across the city.
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Mayor Rouse said the beacon ceremony commemorated the day 100 years ago when the guns fell silent on the battlefields of Europe.
“It was an end to the slaughter of young men,” he said. “Ely, a small market town, had lost around 170 men. They were someone’s sons, some were brothers, there were neighbours from the same streets, school pals, work mates, players in the Ely Band and they came form all walks of life and would have been known by so many
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“The vicar of this church, the Rev Elgood Punchard, and his wife lost two sons in the Great War and the whole congregation would have felt their sense of loss.”
The mayor said the day had seen one of the largest congregations “I have ever seen in the cathedral and some of the largest crowds I can recall on the market place.
“We are a strong community in Ely. Thank you for honouring our ancestors – their sacrifice is not forgotten.”
Earlier the Church of England live streamed the Remembrance Day service from Ely Cathedral on Facebook with people from America, Dubai, Malaysia and Germany among those adding their comments to say they were watching it.
One viewer, Gregory Parkin, was watching the service from his home in Canberra, Australia.
He wrote: “Thank you so much for the service. I am a somewhat lonely soul hoping you know I have kept faith. Love with all my heart. Always.”
The poppy wreath held by lord lieutenant on the day was made by Ely Hero winner Ruth Marley of Re-Imagine Resource Centre.