White doves celebrate peace at Tonbridge’s Remembrance

White doves celebrate peace at Tonbridge's Remembrance
PEACE BREAKS OUT: Veterans of the Armed Forces release white doves at the Castle PHOTO: Kerry Barton/Studio 23 Photography

Huge crowds lined the High Street for the parade as scout, guide, cadet and military groups marched through the town.

The War Memorial in Bradford Street was packed out for a service led by the Reverend Canon Mark Brown of St Peter and St Paul’s Church.

Mayor Pam Bates was joined on the occasion by Halil Öztas, Mayor of Heusenstamm, a German town which has been twinned with Tonbridge since 1984.

ON PARADE Tonbridge’s 17th Scout and Guide Band march down the High Street PHOTO: Kerry Barton/Studio 23 Photography

They were not joined by Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat, who was attending a Remembrance event in India’s capital New Delhi.

The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal organiser Carl Lewis was impressed by the town’s response to the special occasion, which marked the centenary of the Armistice.

Mr Lewis said: “It was very nice to see so many people turn out from all parts of the area, especially veterans from many conflicts from the Second World War to the modern day.

TOWN PAYS TRIBUTE: The Memorial Gardens were packed for the Remembrance Service PHOTO: Kerry Barton/Studio 23 Photography

“It was good to have the Mayor of Heusenstamm and also the doves and beacon lighting – which have both been done before in Tonbridge, but not for Remembrance.

“The Memorial Gardens were full of people, who had to be asked to move back.

“The High Street was full as well. It was a remembrance of the past but also a look to the future, with the youth groups and the children of Hilden Oaks school, who prepared a wreath.”

FLOWER OF YOUTH: Pupils from Hilden Oaks School prepared a special wreath for the Remembrance Service PHOTO: Kerry Barton/Studio 23 Photography

He added: “The number of people was greater than previous years. It might have been the significance of the date. I think that will prompt people to come again next year.

“It is nice when the town comes out for any event, and the community in Tonbridge is second to none.”

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