Fenland remembers fallen

March remembrance day parade
March remembrance day parade
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THOUSANDS of people from across Fenland turned out on Sunday for the annual Remembrance Day services and wreath laying.

Services were held in all the major towns and villages with more people than ever turning out to mark the sombre occasion.

At March around 500 people joined the parade while hundreds more lined the streets to join the Act of Remembrance at the town’s war memorial in Broad Street.

Veterans lined up alongside members of a host of the town’s organisations to march from the Mill View car park to the war memorial in the parade led by the band of March Air Training Corps.

Parade Marshal Major Nigel Spencer said the event went off without a hitch and a total of 38 wreaths were laid by representatives from an array of organisations including the town’s Mayor Bernard Keane and MP Stephen Barclay.

This year the standards were marched around the war memorial and Major spencer said it worked well.

It was his second year in charge of the parade and he said the plan is to make it bigger and better each year.

St Peter’s Church was filled to over flowing for the Service of Remembrance led by the Rev Anthony Chandler.

Sunday’s event followed on from Friday’s Armistice Day two minutes’ silence held at the war memorial.

A chemical incident at a factory in the town forced organisers to bring the parade forward at the request of police keen to re-open the town centre for emergency vehicles.

Major Spencer said: “We were asked to bring it forward by five minutes by Sgt Martin Monger and so we actually finished the Act of Remembrance at 11am.”

Sunday’s Chatteris parade and ceremony were also bigger than ever with more people turning out to join the Act of Remembrance at the war memorial where more than 30 wreaths were laid by representatives from a host of local organisations.

The parade was again led by the band of the March Air Training Corps and again the parish church was packed for the Service of Remembrance led by the Rev James Thomson.

Prayers were also said by representatives from the town’s Salvation Army and the Centenary Church.

Among those attending the service was the First Secretary of the Fijian High Commission Mr Senitieli Wainiu and his family.

They concluded the afternoon by singing a Fijian song of farewell.

Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade and service was the culmination of three days of remembrance in Chatteris, which started on Friday with a small ceremony attended by around 100 people at the War Memorial to mark Armistice Day.

At 11am bugler Tony Savage sounded the Last Post while the exaltation was said by Chatteris Royal British Legion branch chairman Major Norman Larke.

Pupils at the town’s Cromwell Community College also held a service of Remembrance on Friday afternoon and on Saturday there was a Festival of Remembrance and band concert at the parish church, which was attended by Mr Wainu and his family.

The Somersham Town Band entertained a sizeable audience.

In Wisbech there was again a massive turn out for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade and wreath laying led by the Mayor Jonathan Farmer.

The parade was led by the band of the Wisbech Air Training Corps and was made up of representatives from a variety of local organisations.

A Service of Remembrance was led by Father Paul West at a packed St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church, with a reading by the Mayor.

Once again Sunday’s parade and service followed an Act of Remembrance held at the war memorial on Armistice Day (Friday) at 11am where a two minutes’ silence was observed by a large crowd.