Thousands remember Spalding’s war dead

Parades, prayers and private tears merged as one today as thousands of people gathered in Spalding Market Place and at Ayscoughfee Gardens for Remembrance Sunday.

Ex-service veterans, youngsters from the air and army cadets, Scouts and Guides, civic leaders and MP John Hayes were part of a two to three thousand strong gathering as the Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett, led prayers beside the war memorial.

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Bells rang out at St Mary and St Nicolas, changing to the toll of a single bell as the hour of 11 approached.

Last post was played and the two minute silence began – all that could be heard were the engine drone of a WW2 aircraft and leaves on the trees rustling in the breeze.

As well as remembering the dead of two world wars, there were families whose grief stemmed from modern day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and they huddled together for comfort as the tears began to fall.

There were prayers for peace – and prayers for those still risking their lives in Afghanistan.

Wreaths were laid by the chairman of South Holland District Council, Mr Hayes, representatives from ex-service organisations, the emergency services and youth organisations – and then it was the turn of the many who had lost loved ones to lay their own crosses at the foot of the war memorial.