A beauty spot has been dedicated to the soldiers from Halstead who lost their lives during the Great War.

Halstead Public Gardens was given Centenary Field status during a special memorial service which formed part of a weekend of events marking 100 years since the end of the First World War.

The new status means the gardens, which hosts the town’s annual remembrance service in November, is protected from any potential development.

Revd Katie de Bourcier led the special ceremony on Sunday which saw family members of Halstead soldiers killed in the Great War attend.

Wreaths were laid at a new poppy inspired flower bed, designed by Halstead in Bloom’s Joan Gibson, which has also been dedicated to the centenary.

Readings took place during the service before Halstead mayor Andrew Munday unveiled the public gardens as a Centenary Field during a short speech.

Mr Munday said: “It’s important because the gardens are dedicated to the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the people of the town.

“There were just under 200 soldiers from Halstead who made that sacrifice and it’s great that part of the town is dedicated to them.

“The public gardens are a big asset to this town.

"It is a place where community spirit can be actively seen throughout the year. There are so many events held there like May Day and the Christmas fayre. It’s a place where you can see the community come together which is what Halstead is all about.”