Thousands unite in tribute to war dead

NMAC11-3031-5''Mansfield Remembrance Day on Sunday
NMAC11-3031-5''Mansfield Remembrance Day on Sunday

THOUSANDS of people across the area fell silent on Sunday morning to remember the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country.

The main commemorations in Mansfield began with a special ceremony at the Civic Centre, where a host of dignitaries - including the town’s MP Sir Alan Meale and mayor Tony Egginton - laid wreaths at the War memorial.

They then joined a parade - led by the Seaforth Highlanders bagpipe band - through the town centre to St Peter’s Church for a traditional service of remembrance.

Inside the packed church were representatives from the Royal British Legion, Sea Cadets, Nottinghamshire Army Cadets, The Air Cadets, The Royal Artillery, The Royal Naval Association and soldiers from the 4th Battalion Mercian Regiment. Many veterans who have served their country on the frontline were also at the service, which included a poignant two-minute silence to remember those who died in both World Wars and to give thanks to those who are still serving in present day conflicts.

Mr Egginton led a civic prayer in which he asked church-goers to give thanks for all those who have lived and died in the service of others, especially those from across the area.

A prayer was also said for peace and for leaders to find a way to improve international relations to avoid future conflicts.

After the service, the Seaforth Highlanders led a march back to the Civic Centre.

Joe Martin, poppy appeal organiser for Mansfield Royal British Legion, said the service went very well.

He said: “If you do not remember you are doomed to repeat. When you think of all the lads and lasses just from Mansfield, they gave their today for our tomorrow.”

Elsewhere in Mansfield, nearly 200 people stood to pay their respects at the Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial on Carr Bank Park on Sunday.

The service was led by Gillian Isterling, Minister in Training at Mansfield Baptist Church, and was marked by a Guard of Honour provided by 20 scooters from the Mansfield Roadrunners Scooter Club.

To mark the end of the two-minute silence, four white doves were released as symbols of the peace that service men and women fight for in the name of people they leave at home.

“This was the first Remembrance Day service at the new memorial and it was really nice to see the strong community connection in evidence as families, ex-servicemen and others stood should to shoulder in paying their respects,” said a Heroes Fund spokesman.