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People across North Devon remember the fallen at Remembrance services

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

By Andrea Foster

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PEOPLE across North Devon wore their poppies with pride at the weekend to honour those who gave their lives in the line of duty for their country.

Hundreds turned out for Barnstaple's Remembrance ceremony at Rock Park on Sunday, where a short service, including the laying of wreaths, was performed before the customary two minutes' silence.

Town clerk Anne Jenkins said: "The silence was well observed, as always, and the Last Post was beautifully played.

"We had lots of youth organisations there which is always nice to see and there were more wreaths laid than in previous years."

She said the Commanding Officer of Chivenor's 22 Squadron and 24 Commando Engineer Regiment also attended.

"With the base being so close to the town it is nice to retain that link with the serving forces," she said.

After the service the mayor Lesley Brown and town councillors joined members of the Royal British Legion and the town's other uniformed organisations as they processed to St Peter's Parish Church, where a full service was held.

Barnstaple's Guildhall was also open all morning to allow people to pay their respects while a well attended children's Remembrance Service was held on Friday.

Crowds of people lined Bideford Quay as a parade made up of local councillors, Lord John Burnett, MP Geoffrey Cox, Torridge District Council chairman Andrew Eastman, veterans and representatives of the Royal British Legion and youth organisations marched from Bideford Town Hall to Victorian Park.

An estimated 1,000 people were in the park to watch the laying of wreaths before the parade made its way to St Mary's Church for a Service of Remembrance.

On the way back rowers from Bideford Reds lined up with their oars in salute.

St Brannock's Parish Church in Braunton was packed for the Remembrance Service on Sunday, so much so that people lined the walls when the seats were full.

Eleven-year-old bugler Kieran Rattigan, of Braunton Sea Scouts, played the Last Post and Reveille, in between which a two minutes' silence was observed.

Following the service a procession comprising soldiers from 24 Regiment Royal Engineers, veterans and representatives from youth groups paraded past the Memorial Gardens which were dedicated to the memory of those from the parish who gave their lives to the cause of peace.

As they marched past the memorial shelter, the salute was taken by Major Mark Wilson, second in command of 24 Regiment and Brian Smith, president of the Braunton branch of the Royal British Legion.

Chairman of Braunton Parish Council Liz Spear also stood alongside them on the podium to observe the march past.

It was a busy weekend for Peter Sercombe, secretary of the Braunton branch of the RBL, who carried its standard at the Royal Albert Hall's Remembrance Service on Saturday, before returning overnight to carry out the same duty in the village on Sunday.

At Ilfracombe a parade led by Bideford Tarka Pipe Band and including representatives from the Royal British Legion, North Devon Parachute Regiment Association, Royal Marines from Chivenor and youth organisations made its way from the Landmark to the War Memorial where poppies were laid and the Last Post given by David Millman.

A Service of Remembrance was then held at Holy Trinity Church, followed by a procession back to the memorial for a march past.

The presiding officer who took the salute was Captain David Crosbie, Royal Engineers, who was born and educated in Ilfracombe, and is currently serving at the training wing in Warminster, Wiltshire.

He was joined by the Mayor of Ilfracombe Linda Courtnadge.

Nearly 100 people took part in the Remembrance Service at the Church of St Augustine at Heanton.

There were representatives there from the Air Crew Association, Royal Navy, Royal Marines and 24 Commando Engineers.

During the proceedings the congregation went to the war memorial in the churchyard to lay wreaths and observe the two minutes' silence before going back to the church to continue the service.

The cemetery is the last resting place for men and women of the Commonwealth who died while serving at RAF Chivenor.

A particularly poignant part of Holsworthy's Remembrance Sunday was the reading of poems by two Year 9 pupils from the community college George Cooper and Felicity Paddon who, just weeks ago, had visited war graves in France and Belgium.

Representatives from the town council, Court Leet, Royal British Legion and youth organisations paraded from the Square to the parish church, led by the town band.

A Service of Remembrance was followed by the laying of wreaths at the War Memorial at which the poems were read.

Jim Harvey, Sergeant Major and Parade Marshal for Holsworthy Royal British Legion, said: "The Holsworthy Royal British Legion Remembrance Parade was a heartwarming demonstration of a small rural community coming together as one to remember the fallen.

"More than 260 people took part in the parade with the youth of the town extremely well represented.

"There were also many onlookers who gathered to observe the two minutes' silence at the War Memorial."

Torrington's Remembrance Service was well attended, very moving and poignant according to the mayor, Margaret Brown.

The parade formed up in Lidl's car park and marched to the War Memorial in the cemetery.

It was led by members of the Royal British Legion, followed by councillors and representatives from other local organisations in the town.

Mrs Brown added: "It was especially moving to see many of our younger organisations taking part and raising their standards."

Rob Lawson, ex-Royal Navy, led Combe Martin's parade from the Pack O' Cards car park to the parish church.

This was his seventh year and last year as parade leader.

Joining him in the march were Royal Marines from Chivenor, veterans, representatives from the police, coastguard, fire service, youth organisations and Combe Martin Primary School.

Keeping the parade in step was parade commander Corporal Scott Lawson from the Royal Marine training company at Lympstone.

Due to the large turnout at the church this year extra chairs had to be put out.

After the service finished the parade marched to the war memorial for an act of remembrance and the laying of wreaths.

Children from Lynton and Parracombe Schools visited the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway at Woody Bay Station on Friday with their acting headteacher Lorna Kimberley for a Remembrance Service.

Afterwards the youngsters went for a ride on the train, pulled by the steam engine Axe which was originally built for service in the First World War, delivering supplies to the troops in the trenches on the Western Front.

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