World War 1 commemoration events in Uckfield on Saturday (June 28) featured a rousing band concert, talks, an exhibition and a chance to be “hands-on” with artefacts from the conflict.
The tolling of one of the Holy Cross Church bells 100 times by Chris Macve marked the start of ceremonies.
Mr Macve had an unusual way to ensure the correct number of bell pulls was completed – he was using a tin of sweets to “tick off” the numbers.
Uckfield Town Mayor, Cllr Ian Smith, hosted the opening ceremony in the area in front of the Civic Centre.
A bugler played the First Post, a guard of honour was provided by the ATC and the Union Flag was raised.
Sussex Deputy Lord Lieutenant Colonel Chris Blessington welcomed people.
There were two exhibitions in the Weald Hall, one by the Royal Sussex Regiment, and the other by Uckfield Quakers who meet on the second and fourth Sundays of the month in the Luxford Centre (10.30am). Flags of many of the world’s nations were provided by the Wealden United Nations Association.
Artefacts from World War 1
Amanda Scales, representing Newhaven Fort, brought along a number of artefacts from World War 1, including pieces of shrapnel, a part exploded shell, a Tommy helmet and a hand grenade.
She also talked to people about artefacts they brought from family collections.
Little Common Royal British Legion Band gave a rousing concert in the Weald Hall of music from World War 1.
One of the band members, Ray Martin, is a familiar face to many men in Uckfield having run Ray’s barbers in the High Street for many years until retirement.
Cornet player Ray, still lives in the town and is a long-time member of the Little Common band.
Two talks on aspects of World War 1 were given in the council chamber.
*The event, organised by people representing various community groups, was held on the 100th anniversary of the event which ‘ignited’ World War 1 – the assassination of Archduke Franz Archduke, heir to the Austo-Hungarian throne, by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo.
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