Remembrance Sunday Leeds: City falls silent in tribute to service men and women who have lost their lives in conflict

Leeds fell silent at 11am today to remember those who gave their lives in conflict as people were once again invited to join in the city's Remembrance Sunday tributes.

By Tony Gardner
Sunday, 14th November 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th November 2021, 6:40 pm

Thousands turned out to pay their respects at the war memorial on Victoria Gardens as the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Asghar Khan, led the tributes

An annual procession returned to its traditional route, leaving Leeds Civic Hall and heading to the memorial where wreaths were laid.

Ex-service men and women plus members of ex-service organisations and current serving military organisations gathered near to the City Museum on Rossington Street before marching to the war memorial.

Leeds Mayor, Coun Asghar Khan, lays a wreath at the War Memorial at Victoria Gardens.

Those joining the Lord Mayor in the parade were the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Mr Tim Hare, the Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council, Coun Jonathan Pryor, and the Leeds Children’s Mayor Zulaykha Hussain.

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin and Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn were also in attendance to lay wreaths.

A multi-faith service led by the Bishop of Kirkstall, Rt Reverend Paul Slater, was shown on big screens around the war memorial to allow the public to observe the ceremony at a safe distance.

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Service men and women paraded through Leeds to mark Remembrance Day

Prayers were read by Rev Fr Matthew Habron, Dean of Leeds Roman Catholic Cathedral.

There were readings by Rabbi Anthony Gilbert, of Etz Chaim Synagogue, and Qari Muhammad Asim, of Makkah Mosque.

Services were scaled back last year because of the pandemic, but today's event saw the return of many proud veterans.

Among the crowds were former Parachute Regiment service men Steve Gibson and Dexter Roden.

Service men and women paraded through Leeds to mark Remembrance Day

Mr Gibson, 58, from Seacroft, said: "It's an honour to be able to come back today and pay our respects in person once again and stand with old friends."

Mr Roden, 63, from Garforth, added: "It's great to see so many people back in Leeds to join in the tributes.

"The turnout has been great. It's nice to be able to look out for the maroon berets again - once a Para, always a Para."

Former Royal Marine Fez Wood, 63, from Leeds, said: "It's important that we keep on coming back to remember the fallen.

Mayor of Leeds, Coun Asghar Khan, led the Remembrance Day tributes as he laid a a wreath at the war memorial on Victoria Gardens

"If they were still here they would be doing the same thing. It's important that we never let that go."

Robert Dickinson, 52, from Tingley, a veteran of the Royal Observer Corps, said: "My son, Luke, is an Air Cadet and is part of the procession.

"It's special to be here and to be part of the occasion with him."

The city centre fell silent at the stroke of 11am after a bugler played the Last Post.

After the service, the Lord Mayor and civic representatives proceeded to the steps of the Town Hall where a salute and march past took place.

Crowds fell silent during the Remembrance Day service in Leeds

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Khan said: “Remembrance Sunday is a time when the city comes together to honour the heroic efforts, achievements and sacrifices made by so many of our armed forces during times of conflict.

"Last year we had to remember from our homes and mark the occasion individually, it is therefore wonderful that we are once again able to come together as a city and remember in person once again this year.”

People young and old returned to Leeds city centre for the Remembrance Day tributes.