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PICTURE GALLERY AND VIDEO: Spalding turns out in record numbers to commemorate 100th anniversary of World War I ending with poignant ceremony at Ayscoughfee's War Memorial

The magnitude of World War I ending exactly 100 years ago today brought record crowds onto the streets of Spalding to remember the town's fallen today.

Poppies were in abundance as thousands of people gathered in Market Place, Spalding, awaiting the start of this year's exceptional Remembrance Day parade along Bridge Street, High Bridge, Churchgate and The Vista to the town's War Memorial in Ayscoughfee Gardens.

Spalding's Marching Ambassadors led a parade populated by Armed Services, Royal British Legion, Army and Air Training Corps (ATC) Cadets, uniformed groups (Cub Scouts, Scouts, Guides, Brownies, Rainbows) and schoolchildren as they marched through the town centre.

Remembrance Day at Spalding War Memorial in Ayscoughfee Gardens. (5332664)
Remembrance Day at Spalding War Memorial in Ayscoughfee Gardens. (5332664)

A moving ceremony in honour of those who made the ultimate sacrifice during World Wars I and II was led by the Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett who said: "Today is a very special day as we are exactly 100 years away from the day when the guns fell silent after World War I."

The service included the Ode to Remembrance, The Last Post, a two-minute silence and the Reveille, followed by a Bible reading by the headmaster of Spalding Grammar School, Steven Wilkinson.

An Army and ATC Cadet respectively led prayers, followed by the laying of wreaths by civic and political leaders, including South Holland District Council chairman, Coun Rodney Grocock, and John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings.

The commemorations ended with a parade from Spalding War Memorial to Market Place where Mr Hayes said: "My father fought in the last war and my great uncle died in the first one.

"Exactly 100 years on from that Armistice Day, we come together today to remember those who have served in all kinds of conflicts.

"We all have a duty to remember those who have sacrificed their lives for Queen and country.

"We are what we remember and as long as we keep remembering the service and sacrifice of those who gave so much for all of us, we will honour them."

Coun Grocock said: "This is the seventh Remembrance Day I have been to and, in respect of this parade, you've just got to look around and see the amount of people who respect what is a very special time for us.

"It's an absolute honour to be part of it and a privilege to see so many people remembering such a special event.

"I just hope it will continue forever and ever."

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