Crowds lined the pavements in East Street today (Sunday, November 10) to watch the Remembrance Sunday Parade as it travelled from the city centre to Litten Gardens.
A Service of Remembrance, held from 10.45am, was attended by service men and women, ex service representatives, cadet, youth, and voluntary organisations, as well as crowds of families and individuals.
The Mayor’s Chaplain commenced the Service of Remembrance before leading prayers.
A hymn was sung, and the Mayor of Chichester read a passage from St John’s Gospel.
A statue of Lance Corporal Maurice Patten of the Royal Sussex Regiment was also unveiled following a brief account of Maurice’s life read by his great nephew, Simon Ulrich.
Maurice Patten, a resident of Eartham, died in January, 1916, at the age of 24, as a result of injuries he sustained.
Simon, who now lives in Rustington but considers Eartham the “ancestral home”, has made several trips to France to visit his great uncle’s grave. He has also taken his family to make the emotional journey to visit their relative’s resting place.
Simon was accompanied by his brothers, Stephen and Rodney (Maurice’s great nephews), and his mother Susan Ulrich (Maurice’s niece), as well as other members of his family, who described the unveiling of the statue as “emotional”. The state of Maurice Patten was created by sculptor Vincent Gray, who began working on his sculpture of a soldier while taking part in Art in Action, part of the Priory Park 100 celebrations last year.
When asked how he felt about the statue’s unveiling, Simon said: “It’s unbelievable, amazing, incredible.
“It came about purely by chance - the City Council put the sculptor in touch with me so I could inform him about the correct stance, uniform, equipment for the sculpture, which at that point was just a statue of a Tommy.
“He asked me what I would want as a form of payment and I asked him to make this sculpture of my uncle.”
Vincent, who chose to gift the sculpture to the city, said: “It was very emotional to see the statue unveiled as the Union Jack draped over the top was pulled off. I am absolutely honoured by this - I think for the family, it is like Maurice is coming home.”