A town gathered to remember its fallen sons as the Arlesey Remembers You project was launched at its civic service.
The community wide project will see 87 poppy crosses on the grave’s of Arlesey’s fallen from the First World War.
At the service more than 300 people packed into St Peter’s Church for the service, which included a poignant and moving Eulogy from Wing Commander Peter Marshall from RAF Henlow, who recalled and traced the story of two of Arlesey’s fallen, Frank Fowler and Frederick Bygrave.
The City Choir of Letchworth sang at the service, and the five to seven-year-olds from Arlesey’s rainbows sang ‘Pack up your troubles in your Old Kit-Bag”.
Following the ceremonies, to the backdrop of 11 Flags from the Royal British Legion, poppy crosses were laid on the graves of 11 of the fallen that are buried within Arlesey churchyard.
Each poppy was placed by relatives, invited guests, dignitaries and children from the town’s societies and schools.
The service finished with The Last Post and a minute’s silence.
The event marks the start of the community project to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War. A further 76 poppy crosses will be laid across the country and beyond between now and Remembrance Sunday.
The whole project is being captured on camera and video. A documentary is set to be produced and shown later this year, and a dedicated website will also be set up to use as an ongoing and interactive memorial to those that gave their lives.
Al Mistrano, principal of Etonbury Academy said: “The Arlesey Remembers You service was a brilliant opportunity for the young people to start their investigations into the history of Arlesey during the First World War.
“We were all deeply touched by the event and were inspired by the tremendous community pride demonstrated by those in attendance. Arlesey Remembers You on Sunday showed Arlesey to be a great community and a source of pride for Bedfordshire.”
Councillor Linda Clapham added: “The afternoon was so appropriate and moving that I’m sure our First World War Heroes were smiling down on us. They even arranged for the weather to be perfect!
“It just proves that a small town, pulling together, can be so effective.”