THE first event organised by Mayors for Peace in Winchester remembered the first use of a nuclear weapon, the atomic attack on Hiroshima in Japan in August 1945.

It follows the city council joining the UK chapter of the UN recognised international organisation.

The Mayor’s for Peace Hiroshima Peace commemoration event was held on Tuesday at the mayor’s official residence, Abbey House.

The house was crowded at the initial 12 noon ceremony when Luke Addison of PeaceJam recounts his visit to Hiroshima and reads a harrowing description of the events of 1945.

PeaceJam holds a youth conference for the south of England at Winchester University each March and works for peace among peoples.

Mayor Cllr Eleanor Bell said: “We are moved by the support we have received from people and organisations in Winchester, including SGI-UK, Winchester Rotary, the University of Winchester, and Winchester Churches Together.

“Well over 100 people came through the doors of Abbey House on Tuesday, to look at the photographic exhibition, watch video reportage, and make traditional origami peace cranes. The upstairs room was filled to capacity for the memorial ceremony at 12 noon, when readings were made including a message to the world from the current Mayor of Hiroshima. At 12.15, twelve hours after the time of the bomb strike, a minute’s silence was observed, followed by a flute piece Sea Echo composed by Sally Adams and played by Lis Lewis.”

Cllr Bell added: “We hope that this is the first of many annual events to ensure that we never forget the horror of these events of August 1945 and never repeat them.”

Although the death toll at Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the bombing and radiation sickness is estimated at well into six figures historians believe many more lives were saved because it removed the need for an invasion of Japan planned for 1946.