Babergh District Council have planted a new Avenue of Oak Trees in Hadleigh to mark the centenary of the 1918 Armistice.
At a ceremony attended by district, county and town councillors alongside representatives of the Royal British Legion and the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk’s 2018 Committee, sixteen British Oaks were planted in Hadleigh’s Beaumont Park. Children from Hadleigh High School and Beaumont Community Primary School took part in the ceremony, which included a rendition of Amazing Grace, before the final tree was planted by Cllr Margaret Maybury, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Babergh Armed Forces Champion.
The ceremony concluded with a wreath laying to the sound of The Last Post, before the traditional two minutes silence. Photographs of the ceremony are available on the councils' Flickr account.
Babergh has a longstanding connection to the military, with the airbase at Wattisham Airfield having been in use by the RAF and then British Army for almost eighty years. Many military families still live in Hadleigh, where the oaks have been planted. Representatives of The Hadleigh Great War Centenary Project, which has been commemorating the First World War in Hadleigh throughout 2018, was also present at the ceremony.
The proposal to plant memorial oaks was put forward by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk’s 2018 Committee, which was established to oversee commemorations of the First World War in the centenary year of the 1918 Armistice, and carried out by Babergh District Council.
Cllr Margaret Maybury, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said “In Babergh we live in a district steeped in history and sacrifice. From the streets of Medieval Lavenham to the airfield of Wattisham to the ancient ports on our coasts we have witnessed the dedication of local people in times of national need. We wished to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice of WW1 in a way that future generations in our area would be able to identify. We offer these oaks as symbols of strength, resilience and peace to our lost generations for our next generations to enjoy.”
The oaks stand in Beaumont Park, Hadleigh, to the rear of Beaumont Community Primary School, and is open to everyone.