A poignant ceremony took place at Haverhill’s East Town Park on Monday (4) to unveil a sundial commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
Attended by representatives of the Haverhill and Thurlow District Royal British Legion, the town, borough and county councils, members of the 2nd Haverhill Sea Scouts and others, it was organised by St Edmundsbury Council, which manages the park.
The brass sundial is located in the former butterfly garden next to the visitors centre and mounted on a rustic stone column. It is flanked on each side by a stone tablet engraved with reflective poems.
Cllr Robert Everitt, the mayor of St Edmundsbury, officially unveiled the sundial along with two Haverhill councillors, borough councillor Gordon Cox, who proposed the idea, and borough and county councillor Tony Brown, who contributed £1,500 towards the £4,000 cost of the project from his county council locality budget.
Speaking at the ceremony, Cllr Everitt said: “It’s a beautiful setting for a World War One memorial and I would like to thank both Gordon and Tony, who has contributed towards the cost of setting this up.”
After a few words from Brian Mills, chairman of the Haverhill and Thurlow District RBL, Cllr Everitt read an extract from John McCrae’s famous WWI poem, In Flanders Fields, before a bugler played the Last Post and a minute’s silence was observed.
Cllr Everitt then added: “It’s a pleasure to be here to see the community come together at this event. It’s what makes our part of the world so special.
“I feel its communities working for communities and this is testament to that happening.”
After the ceremony, Cllr Cox said it was the line from In Flanders Fields that mentions the sunset that gave him the inspiration for proposing the sundial.
He added: “I thought a sundial would be a tremendous feature and it fitted in well.
“This is quite impressive. The more you look at it the more impressive it is.”
Cllr Cox also suggested the sundial might appeal to local artists and youngsters for them to draw or paint pictures of it, especially once all the flowers come up.
Looking back at the unveiling, Mr Mills said: “I had people stop me in the street and say how good it was.
“There was a good feeling. Everyone seemed to be together.”
A service is taking place at St Mary’s Church, Haverhill at 3pm on Sunday (Aug 10) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.