YOUNG ambassadors from Burnley are set to take centre stage at a poignant service to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Rose bushes shipped in from Japan – specimens of the Souvenir d’Anne Frank strain – will be planted in the town’s Queens Park at the climax of the ceremony.

And actors from Blessed Trinity and Sir John Thursby schools will perform a short play based on this year’s memorial day theme – ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’.

Junior choristers at St Peter’s Primary and Heasandford Primary will then give a debut performance of a song specially-composed for the memorial.Messages of hope, penned by the pupils, will be hung on the branches of the newly-planted rose bushes, as Mayor of Burnley Coun David Heginbotham looks on.

The roses have been delivered to theatre group Ensemble, who have performed The Diary of Anne Frank, and similar plantings will take place in Southampton, Ipswich and Greenwich.

Elizabeth Mansfield, from Ensemble, said: “It’s so fantastic that Souvenir d’Anne Frank roses have been sent to us from Japan, to be planted all over the UK for the first time.

“We hope the roses will leave a legacy of hope and peace, in memory of Anne and her longing for a tolerant, conflict-free world.”

The roses were originally sent to Japan by Otto Frank, Anne’s father, to a young girl who read his daughter’s famed diaries. This then spread across the nation as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.

The drama company will be bringing their play, Souvenir d’Anne Frank, to Burnley Youth Theatre on March 9 as part of a national tour.

Educational workshops for youngsters will be part of the visit.