A memorial oak has been planted starting a series of commemorative events to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
Civic dignitaries and ex-servicemen came together at Worthing’s Beach House Park for the event arranged by the Worthing Royal British Legion and Combined Ex-Services Association, with support from Adur & Worthing Councils.
The Mayor of Worthing, Cllr Alex Harman led the commemorations before planting an Oak tree. This species was chosen because it is a traditional, English tree and because it will continue to grow for generations to come.
Cllr Alex Harman said: “ This tree commemorates those who died in the war to end all wars. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the atrocities of war and the sacrifices made. This tree will stand as a symbol of those sacrifices for 200 years or more.”
The park is the perfect setting for this memorial as it is also the site of a memorial to the Battle of Boar’s Head, the Holocaust Memorial and a more recent memorial created by the students of Chatsmore Catholic High School, Worthing as part of the Legacy 100 project. It has become a tranquil place for reflection in the bustle of the town.
Cllr Harman said: “ In Worthing, we take remembrance seriously. It is a point of community pride that we continue to remember those who sacrificed their lives and be thankful for those who returned home. 300 men from Sussex died in the Battle of Boar’s head alone, it’s important that we do not forget. What better way to honour those who died than by planting something that continues to live.”
Councillor Tom Wye, Worthing Borough Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “It is fitting that this tree is planted in Beach House Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of the Great War in which at least 660 Worthing men, boys and a lady sacrificed their lives.”