The people of Mansfield and Ashfield turned out in numbers on Remembrance Sunday to pause and pay their respects to those who have lost their lives in conflict.
Deputy Lord Lieutenant Colonel Roger Merryweather, MP Sir Alan Meale, mayor Tony Egginton, veterans, members of the 4 Mercian Territorial Army and police cadets were among those to attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Mansfield civic centre war memorial.
A march through the town centre to St Peter and St Paul’s Church on Churchside followed before a service in the church followed where a two minutes’ silence was held.
A parade back to the civic centre rounded off the tributes, with honorary poppy organiser for the Mansfield Branch of the Royal British Legion, Joe Martin, ‘very pleased’ with the strong public turn-out.
He anticipates more than £30,000 will be raised in the area from this year’s poppy appeal, once all donations have been totted up.
“The parade was very well supported by the public and it went off without a hitch,” said Mr Martin. “There was a good showing of political dignitaries and at least 24 wreaths were laid.
“We should never allow the importance of remembrance to fade because if we do then we are leaving ourselves open to making mistakes of the past. We need to have that constant reminder that war should only be a last resort.”
Major Chris Massingham of the 4 Mercian Territorial Army said around 35 of their number had attended services across the district with around 30 of those on parade.
He added: “There is always plenty of good will from the public as we march through the town centre and it is a privilege to be part of it.
“It’s very important for the younger people to get involved and, as well as the military guys, there were also the cadets there too.
“I don’t think we have any World War One veterans left now and every year there are less and less from World War Two, but with the younger generation involved, it keeps it in their minds and passes the tradition on.”
A service at Sutton’s St Mary’s Church preceded a wreath laying ceremony at the Sutton Cenotaph.
David Shooter laid a wreath on behalf of the Ashfield general branch of the GMB trade union and said he felt ‘honoured and privileged.’
He added: “I have taken part in a number of remembrance day parades at both Sutton and Huthwaite and I don’t think I have ever seen as many people turn out, which is gratifying and heart-warming.
“It was exceptional to see and a fitting tribute to those who paid the ultimate price for their country.”
There were other services and parades across the Mansfield district and surrounding areas, including those at Bellamy Road, Mansfield, Nottingham Road cemetery, Mansfield, Mansfield Woodhouse, Pleasley Vale, Warsop, Forest Town and Edwinstowe.
In Ashfield, respects were paid in Kirkby, Hucknall, Huthwaite, Jacksdale, Skegby and Stanton Hill.
A two minutes’ silence was held today (Monday) at 11am in the Four Seasons Shopping Centre, while a service and laying of wreaths took place at the New Cross Memorial in Sutton.