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Flackwell Heath ceremony marks centenary of Battle of Passchendaele

A poignant ceremony marking the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele brought Common Road in Flackwell Heath to silence yesterday (Sunday).

Held by the Flackwell Heath branch of the Royal British Legion, ex-servicemen were among the participants at the war memorial service.

The names of the village’s fallen were read out, a wreath was placed and the Last Post echoed down the street before a minute’s silence was held.

Those paying their respects included 101-year-old Reginald Bryson, who served in Burma during the Second World War and is older than the battle itself, and Charles Darby, 93, who had been a rear gunner in a bomber in the same conflict.

George O’Leary, the branch chairman, said: “We think in the region of about 25 (villagers fell) over the three-month period (of the battle).

“It was such a mark on this nation’s history that it is very, very important to do it, and not only that, at the Legion, it is our duty to do it.”

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