World War 1 Centenary: Hastings pupils joined with former service personnel to plant crosses in honour of those who gave their lives.

Pupils and students joined Royal British Legion and Ex-Service Personnel in a moving ceremony to honour our war dead.

The event took place at Heroe’s Corner and the Commonwealth War Graves at Hastings and St Leonard’s Cemetery On Thursday November 1.

Planting of poppies at Hastings cemetery. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-180111-154128001

Planting of poppies at Hastings cemetery. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-180111-154128001

Taking part were pupils and students from Baird Academy, West St Leonard’s Academy, Hollington Academy, William Parker Academy and East Sussex Coast College.

SEE ALSO: Moving poppy tribute at Westfield
Shaun Pelling said: “Crosses were held up to the heavens and after being blessed by The Canon Fletcher, the pupils then planted a cross at every headstone that marks a serviceman’s resting place, whatever nationality they may have been, in remembrance of all that gave so much.

“There were many questions to the Ex-Service people by the pupils and the coming together of the generations made the event something that all will remember.

“It was especially poignant that the weather condition endured on the day (rain and wind) were very similar to those endured by servicemen 100 years ago in the final days of WW1 in which The Royal Sussex Regiment played a pivotal part in and had members from every town, village-hamlet across the county. The battle honours achieved by the Royal Sussex Regiment still form part of The Regimental Colours of today’s County Regiment The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the formation of The RAF formerly part of the army as The Royal Flying Corp’s.”

A total of 46 Public Services students from East Sussex College were among those attending the event.

Students from Level 2 and Level 3 attended the service and planted crosses on the graves of those who fought in the First and Second World War, and planted crosses on the Commonwealth graves.

Ashley Chapman, from the College, said: “It is an important and key date in the Public Services calendar and marks the start of the Remembrance Service that is hosted at the college each year.

“All members of the community are welcome to attend the Remembrance Service at the college on Friday 9th November.

“The Public Services students will be marching in the college atrium, which will be followed by a few words from war veterans to give thanks and to mark the centenary of the end of the war. The service will start at 10:30am and the whole college will fall silent at 11am.

Pictures by Frank Copper.

See also: Recalling local people from the Great War
See also: Museum holds Armistice Exhibition