Thousands turn out as towns pay their respect on Remembrance Sunday

Thousands turn out as towns pay their respect on Remembrance Sunday
LEST WE FORGET Two minutes silence being observed at the War Memorial in Tunbridge Wells [picture TWBC]

Remembrance Sunday [November 10] saw a number of events held in Tunbridge Wells to servicemen and women who lost their lives in war.

As revealed in the Times in August, the Royal town’s annual Poppy Appeal has been scaled down after no volunteer was found to organise the event.

The Royal British Legion warned at the time it would have ‘a profound effect’ on a town that has ‘proudly supported’ the Armed Forces community over the years.

Despite the setback, more than two thousand people gathered in front of the War Memorial at the Town Hall to pay their respects at the service of Remembrance, Thanksgiving and Dedication on Sunday.

Joining the Mayor, Cllr James Scholes, were members of the Royal British Legion, 128 Squadron Air Training Corps, Tunbridge Wells Sea Cadet Corps, the RTW Orpheus Male Choir and the Salvation Army Band.

The service began at 10.50am, leading up to the eleventh hour where the traditional two-minute silence was observed after the playing of the Last Post.

Following the ceremony, a service was conducted by the Mayor’s Chaplain and Vicar of King Charles the Martyr, Reverend Laurence Powell, before the laying of wreaths.

There was then a March Past where the Mayor took the salute.

Later on, at Tunbridge Wells Cemetery, a Civic Event was held where the Mayor laid wreaths at the four war memorials in the cemetery – the two Crosses of Sacrifice, the Civilian War memorial and the RAF Memorial.

In addition, the family of Sgt William A Burnett, a Wireless Operator in the RAF who died when his Lancaster III crashed at Canada Farm, Suffolk, laid a wreath at the airman’s grave.

A World War II exhibition in the Friends of Tunbridge Wells Cemetery Chapel, and John Cohen OBE, Chairman of the RTW branch of the Royal British Legion gave a talk.

The Mayor was also joined by representatives of the Royal British Legion in Royal Tunbridge Wells to commemorate Armistice Day on Monday [November 11], which marked 101 years since the end of World War I.

A short ceremony was held in front of the War Memorial and the two minutes silence observed.

In Tonbridge the 17th Tonbridge Scout and Guide Band, fresh from appearing at the Lord Mayor’s Show, led the parade down the High Street in Tonbridge.

The parade featured the Army Cadet Force, the RAF Air Cadets of 2520 Squadron, Kent Police Cadet Force, St John Ambulance, Scouts and Guides.

The service in the Memorial Gardens was led by Rev Wendy Carr, Curate of Tonbridge Parish Church and James Lark representing the Lions Club.

There were also events in other local towns and villages over Remembrance weekend. A poppy display had been put together by villagers in Pembury, incuding a hand-knitted man made from poppies.

People also gathered at the war memorials in Southborough, Paddock Wood and Rusthall.

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