See all the photos from Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Remembrance

Thousands came together across towns and villages to remember fallen service men and women on Remembrance Sunday.

On a bright but chilly day (November 12) large crowds paid their respects, amongst other places, in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Southborough, Crowborough, Paddock Wood and Hawkenbury.

Services throughout the day marked the end of both world wars and honoured those who have given their lives in conflicts since then.

Event organisers in Tunbridge Wells were ‘delighted’ that at least 2,000 attended a service by the War Memorial on Mount Pleasant Road.

David Wakefield, president of Tunbridge Wells Royal British Legion, was one of several town dignitaries to lay a poppy wreath.

He said: “It was marvellous with good weather and a large turnout of young people, which I think was better than in previous years.

“Laying a wreath is something I have always done and the event is a great honour to be part of.”

The Mayor’s Chaplain Reverend Stephen Hills led proceedings which featured a parade past the Town Hall and for the first time the Tunbridge Wells Orpheus Male Voice Choir took part in the proceedings.

After prayers and a two minute silence poppy wreaths were laid by the memorial by leaders including Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark and town Mayor Julia Soyke.

Joining deputy town mayor Len Horwood, Mr Wakefield later attended a 2pm service at Tunbridge Wells Cemetery in Hawkenbury where Legion member Jennifer Watts gave a talk on the anniversary of Passchendaele – a key First World War Battle fought in 1917.

The Hawkenbury service was attended by 56 people, which impressed Mr Horwood.

He said: “It was well attended, I was told 20 or 30 people come most years, and it was well done as well to mark a significant event.

“I think there will be special events next year to mark the centenary of the First World War ending.”

In Tonbridge hundreds more lined the streets and gathered for a procession and service led by Reverend Canon Mark Brown, Vicar and Area Dean of Tonbridge.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council organised the proceedings which began with prayers and wreath laying at Tonbridge War Memorial off Bradford Street.

Bands, scout and cadet groups then marched along High Street to Cannon Lawn by Tonbridge Castle for an inspection with an estimated 400 people watching en route.

Maurice Gilham, of Tonbridge Lions Club – the group who organised parts of the event, said: “In a word it was brilliant.

“Crowds bathed in autumn sunshine for the service before Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat (himself a former serviceman) gave a closing speech and dismissed the parade at Cannon Lawn.”

Fellow Lions Club member John Ruck added: “I think it was better attended than average because the weather was so good.”

Southborough Mayor David Elliott led proceedings at an earlier service in his own ward from 8.45am which saw local church leaders Father Leo Mooney and Reverend Nigel Griffiths take prayers.

Mayor Elliott said: “It was a very good turnout of 300-400 people. The town’s two Scout groups were there while Greg Clark attended. I would like to thank everyone for taking part.”


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