Lest we forget

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Bright autumn sunshine and a clear blue sky set the scene for Remembrance Sunday services in towns and villages across South Holland.

Parades were attended by young and old, some too young even to remember the start of the conflict in Afghanistan, veterans who fought in the Second World War and those who have lost family members in more recent conflicts.

The vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett, led the service in Spalding’s Ayscoughfee Gardens.

Ex-servicemen, dignitaries, cadets, scouts and guides took up their positions as the half-muffled bells of St Mary and St Nicolas faded to a single tolling bell as the clergy and choir arrived in procession.

Hundreds of people were in the gardens.

The two minutes’ silence was introduced by the playing of Last Post and ended with the sound of a cannon.

Words of remembrance, bible readings and prayers for peace were spoken by officials from Spalding Royal British Legion, South Holland District Council chief executive Terry Huggins and cadets.

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes led the poppy wreath laying – later taking part in the Holbeach service – and scores of people positioned poppy crosses front of the memorial.

Mr Bennett said everyone sang Abide With Me, a hymn that has become so much part of our national life.

He said: “As the hymn ended, five white doves were released. They flew quickly towards the lake and then up into the bright sky. Then The National Anthem was played – the medals of those who stood proudly to attention caught the sun and sparkled.”