A memorial of seven English Oak trees has been planted in Debenham to commemorate the role played by the people of Mid Suffolk in the First World War and to remember all those who gave their lives in sacrifice our of freedoms today.
Mid Suffolk lost just over 1,600 people in the First World War one hundred years ago, and the oak trees that have been planted in remembrance will live to well over one hundred years, allowing their legacy to stand through to the second centenary of the First World War and beyond.
The planting ceremony was hosted by Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, and attended by Eddy Alcock the chairman of the Debenham Branch Royal British Legion, local school children, representatives of the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk’s 2018 Committee and county, district and parish councillors. The final tree was planted by Cllr Derrick Haley, Chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council. Photographs of the ceremony are available on the councils' Flickr pages.
The trees were planted on The Meadow, off Wells Way in Debenham. The trees that were chosen were fastigiate oaks, which will grow in a columnar shape and the leaves of which will turn a fiery red in the autumn.
Cllr Derrick Haley, Chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council, said “These trees are a legacy that will still be standing a century from now. They will remind us through the years of the enduring memory of the sacrifices of the people of Mid Suffolk in the First World War. Mid Suffolk lost 1,600 brave men and women in the First World War, and I hope in years to come people will look at these memorial oaks, remember what those 1,600 did at that time in history, and be proud of our heritage.
“The Lord Lieutenant’s Committee has invited councils across the county to plant oaks this year and Mid Suffolk is proud to be a part of this movement to commemorate the sacrifice of the people of Suffolk between 1914 and 1918. We chose a variety of British Oak that has brilliant red leaves in the autumn, to remind us of the poppies at Flanders that have become such a poignant symbol of remembrance.”