VIDEO: Wreath laying service held to remember Ingoldmells ‘biggest ever tragedy’

Ingoldmells’ victims of the 1953 floods were remembered during a sombre service of reflection marking yesterday’s 60th anniversary of the village’s ‘biggest ever tragedy.’

Councillors, residents and clergy gathered at St Peter and St Paul’s Church for the wreath laying service led by Reverend Fran Jeffries.

The wreath laying service in Ingoldmells held on the 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods.

The wreath laying service in Ingoldmells held on the 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods.

The congregation bowed their head in solemn silence as Rev Jeffries read the names of 18 village residents, including two entire families, who drowned during the catastrophic event.

Speaking after the service, she said: “It’s a service that brings the village together so that we look at our lives collectively as a community rather than as individuals because that’s what happened during the floods - people came together to be rebuild their lives.”

Ingoldmells Parish Council chairman Coun John Arnott-Watson laid the wreath on the memorial plaque to commemorate the village’s flood victims, 17 of whom were buried in the church’s cemetery.

Reflecting on the tragedy after the service he said: “It really brought it home to me - this was the biggest tragedy that ever happened in Ingoldmells - more people were lost on that one night than were lost during the Great War.”

Coun Arnott-Watson hopes to repeat the service on each anniversary of the floods in reverence to the enormity of its impact on the village.

He and other local figures believe the anniversary should highlight the ongoing need to defend against the sea’s potentially disastrous impact on coastal communities.

Lincolnshire County Council’s ward holder for Ingoldmells Coun Colin Davie said: “It was a devastating event for a small seaside village and the challenge for the future is to keep the coast protected for all that live here.”

After the wreath laying a civic reception was held at The Royal Arthur Centre attended by further dignitaries and several flood survivors, who reflected on lost friends and loved ones.

Those gathered then marched back to St Peter and St Paul’s for a memorial service, held alongside many others in flood strken coastal coast.