Services held to remember the war dead

Soldiers around the War Memorial in Ripon's Spa Gardens. (S)
Soldiers around the War Memorial in Ripon's Spa Gardens. (S)

Ripon fell silent as Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday coincided at the weekend, bringing people together to commemorate fallen soldiers.

On Sunday, November 11, Ripon marked Remembrance Day with two minutes’ silence at the war memorial in Spa Gardens, at 11am, and with ceremonies at Ripon Cathedral and at the Royal British Legion care home Lister House.

Among those attending the service at Spa Gardens – which was followed by a parade through the city centre before a service at the cathedral – were the Mayor of Ripon Coun Andrew Williams, Ripon MP Julian Smith, the Dean of Ripon the Very Revd Keith Jukes and Maj Mick Hansekowitsch of Ripon’s 21 Engineer Regiment, in addition to members of the Ripon police, fire service, Army cadets, Girl Guides, Scouts and members of the public.

Albert Weidemann, Poppy Appeal organiser for the Royal British Legion, said: “People came to pay their respects and to remember their comrades, friends, families and allies who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in the First and Second World Wars, and also for the freedoms we enjoy in a democratic and free society.

“People stood shoulder to shoulder in remembrance of men and women who have fought and died in conflicts in the Commonwealth, the Falklands, the Gulf, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, the Libyan intervention and currently where our very own members of 21 Engineer Regiment are based in Afghanistan at this time.”

There was also a Service of Remembrance at St James’s Church, Boroughbridge, on Sunday, at 9.15am. The service was followed by a march to the war memorial in Hall Square for the Act of Remembrance led by servicemen from the 10 Field Squadron Royal Rngineers and the 9 Regiment Army Air Corps.

It was followed by two minutes’ silence and the laying of wreaths.

Geoff Craggs, president of the Royal British Legion in Boroughbridge, said: “St James’s Church was absolutely bursting to the seams. There must have been 2,000 people around town for the day.

“It was poignant that it fell on a Sunday this year and I think it has really hit home for people because there are soldiers losing their lives in Afghanistan. For example, you can often see high school kids losing concentration during the two minutes’ silence but this time they really care because they can see what is happening first hand.”