Moving displays of remembrance
HUNDREDS watched a parade through Ely on Sunday to honour the district s servicemen and women who have given their lives in conflict. Chairman of the Ely branch of the Royal British Legion, Raymond Hale, said the turnout at a wreath-laying at the war mem
HUNDREDS watched a parade through Ely on Sunday to honour the district's servicemen and women who have given their lives in conflict.
Chairman of the Ely branch of the Royal British Legion, Raymond Hale, said the turnout at a wreath-laying at the war memorial on Armistice Day (Saturday) was very good, but that Sunday's parade exceeded all expectations.
"The 39th engineers from Waterbeach brought 340 personnel, 100 of whom marched, along with 36 active servicemen from Colchester," he said.
"We dismissed at the Market Place and we were actually applauded off by the public - it really was very moving."
The parade included all of the local ex-service associations, members of the Air Training Core, Army Cadet Force and scouts, guides, cubs and brownies.
He said there was a struggle for seats at the cathedral, where the Bishop of Ely gave a remembrance service and paid tribute to the thousands who have lost their lives in conflicts throughout the world.
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The Soham branch of the Royal British Legion also paraded with the town's guides, scouts, cubs and brownies.
"It was very good to see and we had a good turnout," said Colonel Colin Elsden of the Soham branch of the British Legion.
Wreaths were laid at the war memorial before a service was held at St Andrew's Church. Teas were then provided by the legion at Soham Pavilion, where chairman of the town council Fiona Ross made a speech.
Wreaths were laid at each of Stretham's war memorials over the weekend. Armistice day saw a wreath-laying at the memorial at the cemetery and on Remembrance Sunday there was a service at Stretham Church, which was followed by a wreath-laying at the church's memorial.
St Andrew's Church in Sutton is host to the chapel of the 75th Squadron, and so wreaths were laid at the chapel memorial on Sunday.
"We're very fortunate that the 75th squadron has a designated chapel in our church," said Peter Gipp of the Sutton branch of the Royal British Legion.
"We've found that the ex-service contingent is getting older and we try to involve the children - the turnout was very good and we had a full church, I think."
Across the channel, Littleport scout leader Stella Johnstone laid a wreath at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium in memory of all those who have lost their lives through conflict.
The Wreath, laid the weekend before Remembrance Sunday, carried the inscription 'One World One Promise' and was signed by members of Cambridgeshire Scouts.
Mrs Johnstone, of the 1st Littleport Scout Group, said she was overwhelmed by the experience:
"Many wreaths are laid along with other tributes from all over the world," she said.
"It is very moving indeed."
The Menin Gate Memorial is among the most visited Great War memorial on the Western Front.