VETERANS and shoppers came together to watch the unveiling of a First World War memorial.

Bosses at the Eastgate Centre, in Basildon, launched an exhibition in tribute to the war, which started 100 years ago.

A short service was held at the centre, with D-Day veterans watching on before they lowered their standards around a new sculpture of flags.

Eastgate marketing manager Mike Horton said: “This is a highly significant time for the whole of Great Britain and we wanted to pay our respects to all those who took part.

“Obviously nothing can properly convey the true horrors of the war, but if our efforts can stimulate shoppers of all ages to delve more closely into the stories behind the various events of the time, we will have achieved our aims.”

Storyboards chronicling the events leading up to the war through to its conclusion in 1918 will be on show at the centre until Tuesday, August 5, featuring photos from the time.

It will then be moved to a gallery upstairs in the centre.