Soham residents commemorate the fallen
Published by Natasha Jones for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing and also in Communities
Supplied by Soham WW1 Centenary Committee
Hundreds of Soham residents turned out to pay their respects to the fallen of World War 1 at a special two-day event which marked one hundred years since the start of the Great War.
More than 1,500 people joined Rt Hon Sir Jim Paice MP at the centenary event organised by Soham Town Council and supported by Sanctuary Housing’s Grand Ideas fund (on 4 and 5 August).
The community came together to see re-enactments of life as it was in 1914, and had the opportunity to sample war-time food and enjoy the music of the day.
Black Knight Historical Events, a re-enactment and media group, donned period costumes and gave thought-provoking performances to educate and inform the crowds. WW1 tents were set up with medical equipment, while food was cooked on army field cookers to give an accurate portrayal of life on the front. Edith Cavell, who was shot as a spy, was portrayed by an actress and could be seen out and about on the streets of Soham.
On day two of the event, Sir Jim Paice stood in honour with the Royal British Legion to lay a wreath at the War Memorial. The ceremony concluded with a march, drumhead service and short address from the MP to remember the 134 local armed service personnel who lost their lives.
Speaking about the event, Sir Jim commented: “There is a tendency these days to revisit history and make judgements based on today’s standards. We should ignore that and recognise that millions of men did what they believed was right. They were proud to do so and we should be proud of them.”
Graham Nolan, Sanctuary Housing’s head of neighbourhood partnerships, said: “We were only too happy to support this event which marked an historical occasion for the community of Soham.
“We believe that bringing people together and helping them feel proud of their neighbourhood is very important, and events like these really boost community spirit.”
Councillor Glenn Woodbridge from Soham Town Council, added: “Seeing residents pay their respects at the event made it very worthwhile and I would like to thank Sanctuary Housing for their funding.
“One of the residents thanked me personally for organising the event and was so pleased that all generations could come together as one.”
The event was supported by a grant from Sanctuary’s Grand Ideas Fund which is open for applications from charities, resident groups and voluntary organisations.
The fund is designed to support as wide a variety of projects as possible – from youth activities to the improvement of community facilities.