A hundred years to the day, was the beginning of the battle of Passchendaele. This was also known as the third battle of Ypres in 1917. The battle took place on the Western Front, from July to November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders. British casualties alone numbered nearly a quarter of a million. The men from the Cromer area who lost their lives during the conflict were William Allen, Charles Bumfrey, Arthur Bunn, Arthur Craske, Alan Jarvis and Arthur Royall.
As part of the commemoration Cromer Town Council decided to hold a 18 hour vigil. This was attended by members of the town council, North Norfolk District Council as well as Norfolk County Council. Volunteers stood as honour guards at the Cromer war memorial in intervals of up to one hour, from 6pm on Sunday, through the night, to midday on Monday.
At the end of the vigil, an open air service was held at the war memorial outside Cromer church. The Rev Peter Herbert, the curate of the Parish Church, conducted the open-air service. This followed the 18-hour vigil to commemorate its centenary. Members of the Royal British legion also attended the service and provided a guard go honour.
A display of First World War-related items from the collection of John Needham, chairman of the Cromer branch of the Royal British Legion, was also on display near the memorial.
Find below a record of this special and unique event.