First World War Centenary: Hastings Bonfire Society keep the flame of remembrance alive with 100 burning torches

Beacon 1 SUS-181121-120444001
Beacon 1 SUS-181121-120444001

One hundred torches were lit and carried by Hastings Bonfire Society members on Remembrance Sunday to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War.

The torches were carries up the steps of the East Hill and used to light the beacon on the top,

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Beacon 3 SUS-181121-120942001

Hastings Bonfire Chairman Heather Leech explained: “We had 100 torches, the last lit by the miner’s lamp which was lit for peace in the morning in Alexandra Park.

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“The lamp was escorted to the town hall and the escorted by Hastings Borough Bonfire Society to St Clement’s Church where it rested on the altar of the WW1 chapel before being taken up to the beacon.

The last post was played and the bells in the Old Town were rung.

“All this was live streamed to the Festival of Remembrance in the White Rock.

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Beacon 2 SUS-181121-120528001

“The lamp was then escorted to the White Rock with the 100 torches. The lamp was carried by former Hastings Mayor Cllr Judy Rogers.”

The lighting of the Beacon was the culmination of the local remembrance period, which also saw standard paraded at the war memorial, in Alexandra Park and local school children laying poppy crosses on war graves at Hastings Crematorium .

On Armistice Day a crowd of around 30, including council leader Peter Chowney and mayor Cllr Sinden, watched and listened as Hastings town crier Jon Bartholomew played the bagpipes at 6am at the war memorial in Alexandra Park, part of a national programme to mark 100 years of remembrance.

The traditional Remembrance Sunday service also took place at the war memorial in Alexandra Park at 11 am, led by the Reverend David Hill, rector of St John the Evangelist, Upper St Leonards, preceded by the civic procession from the town hall.

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Beacon 4 SUS-181121-121104001

The bells of all four church towers in the town (All Saints, Christ Church Blacklands and Christ Church St Leonards and St Clement’s) joined other churches across the country in ringing at 12.30pm.

Hastings Mayor Nigel Sinden said: “I am so pleased that the town made such an effort to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War.

“So many people – including many from Hastings, of course – made the ultimate sacrifice in this and other wars, and so many more played a huge part in securing the freedoms we take for granted today.

“I am very grateful to everyone who helped play their part in the many events over the weekend.

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Beacon 6 SUS-181121-121519001

“I am especially grateful to Hastings Borough Bonfire Society who arranged the beacon lighting, the 100 torches forming a ‘ring of fire’ around the lamp and the beacon on the East Hill; it looked superb on the hill, and so spectacular as the 100 lit torches made their way down off the hill.

“I thought it was particularly poignant that only a few torches made it still alight to the White Rock theatre, as it brought to mind that so many were lost in that terrible conflict.”

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Beacon 5 SUS-181121-121324001