'Utterly amazing' turnout at Chichester Armistice centenary beacon

The organiser of an Armistice day event in Chichester has said he was 'astonished' by the turnout.

Tuesday, 13th November 2018, 3:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th November 2018, 4:38 pm
The beacon lighting in front of the Union Jack. Photo credit, Alex Benwell

The beacon, which was lit by the Duke of Richmond was set up on the Trundle, an Iron age hill fort on St Roche's Hill, and featured a torch-lit procession commemorating the soldiers who died during the Great War.

Tim Weeks, who organised the event, said: "It was exemplary, I couldn't believe the crowd when I got up to the car park and saw how many people were there, I was absolutely astonished."

The event also featured an 'utterly amazing' turn of as 330 people took part as torch bearers with more than 200 spectators.

The beacon lighting in front of the Union Jack. Photo credit, Alex Benwell

Tim said it had rained before and after the event but during that he was 'very thankful' for the clear skies when the group needed them during the procession.

The skies were clear and starry and went 'as well as it could have possibly gone.'

Tim gave special thanks to the Duke of Richmond for permission to use the area and for lighting the beacon, thanked Goodwood for the wood and for lending their head forester to build the fire and thanked everyone who took part and came along.

He said: "I hope that for everyone who participated, it's a memory I hope they will keep with them for the rest of their lives, it's completely a unique thing.

The event took place to remember the 563 lives lost from Chichester, Lavant, West Hampnett, Singleton, East and West Dean and the beacon was one of 1,000 lit across the country to mark 100 years since armistice day.