Thousands pay their respects at packed Remembrance Day services throughout Leeds and West Yorkshire. Jonathan Brown reports.
Spontaneous applause rang out as service personnel past and present marched from a packed service of remembrance in Leeds yesterday. (Nov 10)
Thousands of people lined Victoria Gardens to pay their respects as the lives of millions of fallen soldiers were commemorated during a civic service outside Leeds Central Library and Leeds Art Gallery.
On what was a crisp, sunny morning, scores of poppy-wearing locals poured into the city to pay their respects as hundreds of current and former servicemen and women marched from Leeds Civic Hall to the war memorial ahead of the 11am two-minute silence.
A procession of civic dignitaries and religious leaders followed with wreaths in hand.
Five-year-old Harvey Roberts, from Pudsey, was among the crowd proudly wearing both his grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s war medals.
Bill Ramsay, 82, Harvey’s great-grandfather, told the YEP: “It means everything to me, going back to the First World War and my grandparents to memories of some of my mates who I have lost over the years in the forces in places like Korea. It still gives me a lump in my throat, this is why I like to get the young ones involved.
“It’s one day you can’t let go by, it’s one day that the candle must be kept burning.”
Mr Ramsay, who has a grandson going into the RAF, served with the 1st Battalion West Riding Regiment from 1950 to 1952, before spending 10 years as a Territorial Army soldier with the 321 Bramley Division.
The family witnessed the service led by Rector of Leeds, Canon Tony Bundock, which also saw readings from representatives of the Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu faiths.
A lone bugler played the Last Post in time for the well observed two-minute silence, before the hymn Abide With Me and the National Anthem were sung.
Elsewhere in Leeds, a ‘Field of Remembrance’ was created at St Peter’s Church, in Bramley, with over 650 crosses bearing the names of late Bramley soldiers.
Remembrance services were held across the district including Scatcherd Park, in Morley, Kirklands Community Centre, in Menston, and at Guiseley Town Cross. The Leeds services were matched by commemorations across West Yorkshire with hundreds gathering at Wakefield’s war memorial.
Wakefield Council leader Peter Box, said: “This is an important time of year when we come together to remember those who have made huge sacrifices for their country and those who continue to do so.”
In Harrogate more than 100 Junior Soldiers from Waterloo Company joined a marching contingent which included detachments from the Army Reserves, The Royal British Legion and The Royal Navy Association and Merchant Navy.
A free Music of Remembrance concert will take place at Leeds Town Hall today at 1.05pm. Call 0113 2478336 for details.