In Pictures: Hundreds line the streets of March to remember our fallen soldiers this Remembrance Day 2018
- Credit: HARRY RUTTER
The poignancy of the occasion left its mark on March today as one of the biggest turn outs in recent times gathered for the annual service and parade of remembrance.
The overnight rain and early morning wind gave way to clear blue skies as the uniformed cadets, assembled ranks of past and present servicemen and civic dignitaries formed a reverential parade through the town.
It went by firstly at 9.30am as it snaked its way through Broad Street and into High Street for a service at St Peter’s.
And it formed afterwards for the shorter parade back to the war memorial for the traditional two minutes of silence and the laying of wreaths.
March has become the focal point for one of the county’s largest acts of remembrance and today’s was no exception.
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With a format plucked from the Royal British Legion handbook for ceremonial and services, the months of preparation – guided by a 25 page document setting out the day’s events in scrupulous detail – ensured its smooth running and a precise execution.
Even the vicar knew his place, having been “respectfully requested”, on page 2, paragraph 6 to “deliver a remembrance service at St Peter’s from 0950-1030 hours” and to “allow the ladies section of the Royal British Legion to take the collection”.
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The detail is not pedantic – far from it. It reflects a military style oversight and ensures wreaths, timings, participants, traffic, and positioning in the parade to be formulated and acted upon.
The huge numbers of wreaths positioned on the war memorial began with those on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, laid by the deputy lord lieutenant Brigadier Tim Seal, followed by those on behalf of the Government (laid by MP Steve Barclay) and the Mayor, Cllr Jan French, on behalf of the town council and people of March.
The wreaths also included one from the United States Visiting Forces laid by Lt Col Thompson.
Among the other organisations to lay wreaths were various sections of the British Legion, all of the armed services, the police, fire service, Whitemoor prison officers, scouts, air cadets, guides, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, March Lions, freemasons, local churches and even one from Sainsbury’s supermarket. Brass 2000 played the national Anthem the air training corps band accompanied the parade.