Gallery: Thousands turn out to pay respects to fallen soldiers in Remembrance Day parades and services across Essex
- Credit: Archant
Thousands of people have united to mark Remembrance Sunday across Essex today.
Veterans and residents joined forces with councillors and youth organisations in Clacton this morning for a Remembrance Day parade and service.
More than 2,000 people gathered as Tendring District Council chairwoman Val Guglielmi laid a wreath in the Memorial Gardens on Marine Parade West along with the authority’s chief executive, Ian Davidson, and many others.
Mrs Guglielmi said she was impressed by the sheer volume of people who turned out to honour those who gave their lives in conflict.
She added: “This year we are marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War and therefore it was a very special occasion.
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“There was a massive show of support for our armed forces and all that they have done for us. That support came from all ages and it was wonderful to see them there wearing their poppies with pride – it must have been a record turnout in Clacton.”
Hundreds of people had also previously lined the route of the annual parade which began outside Clacton Town Hall and marched to the seafront gardens led by the Colchester Scout Band.
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Mrs Guglielmi, council leader Mick Page, Mr Davidson, Clacton MP Douglas Carswell and Dan Casey, president of the Clacton branch of the Royal British Legion, took the salute outside the Town Hall.
Several organisations were represented and there were eight standards at the seafront service.
Rev David Lower, of St Paul’s Church, Clacton, took the service at the Memorial Gardens where a large number of wreaths were laid by a number of groups.
Mr Casey, who is also a Tendring councillor, said it proved to be a very moving occasion for all those involved.
“It is always good to see so many people of all ages standing side by side and paying their respects to the fallen,” he added. “It was a memorable day for us all.”
In Colchester, troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade joined the community to mark the occasion.
Soldiers based at the town’s Merville Barracks joined civic dignitaries, veterans, cadets and thousands of residents for a Remembrance service and silence at Colchester’s War Memorial.
After the service, some 80 soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment and 13 Air Assault Support Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps, led by the Band of The Parachute Regiment, marched to the Town Hall for a reception.
They were joined by reservists from 36 (Eastern) Signal Squadron, 37 Signal Regiment and 161 Medical Squadron, 254 Medical Regiment, veterans and youth organisations.
The soldiers were headed up by Brigadier Nick Borton DSO MBE, Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, and Colchester Garrison Commander Colonel Gary Wilkinson OBE.
Col Wilkinson said: “Remembrance is of great significance to the Armed Forces and it is a huge privilege to join the communities where we are based for services to mark Remembrance Sunday.
“It is important for soldiers to take the opportunity to stand shoulder by shoulder with the civilian community to show our respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice or suffered life changing injuries.”
A private ceremony was also held earlier at the Memorial Garden at the town’s Merville Barracks for families of 16 Air Assault Brigade soldiers killed on operations to lay wreaths and pay tribute to their relatives.
Wreathes were also laid at the First and Second World War memorials in Colchester Cemetery.