SILENCE fell on towns and villages across the county, as crowds paid tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thousands paid their respects across the county, falling silent for two minutes at 11am until the blow of a bugle broke the hush.

Scores of services took place in Oxfordshire, including in Didcot, Wallingford, Witney, Wantage, Burford, Carterton, Faringdon, Chipping Norton, Banbury, Bicester and Thame.

Many villages hosted Remembrance events, including Grove, Eynsham, Horspath, Marcham, Kennington, Benson, Harwell and Kidlington.

In Abingdon, a sea of solemn faces packed The Square to chant the promise made famous in a 1914 poem For the Fallen: “We will remember them.”

Among those who laid wreaths at the town’s war memorial was RAF Bomber Command veteran Noble Frankland, whose uniform proudly bore an ornate poppy and strip of shining medals.

The 95-year-old, whose decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Légion d’honneur, told the Oxford Mail: “We are remembering all out former comrades who are not here. I lost nearly all my friends. Why was I spared when so many others were not?”

Central Abingdon resident Dr Frankland, a historian and former Director General of the Imperial War Museum, said he was ‘very moved’ to take part in the service.

He served as a Bomber Command navigator from 1941 to 1945, joining when he was just 19-years-old, and took part in the Normandy landings.

Military personnel from Dalton Barracks in Shippon – including 5 Rifles and 3 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps – were part of the Abingdon parade alongside veterans.

Children from an array of uniformed organisations including Cadets and Scouts, as well as councillors and Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran, also marched to the beat of Abingdon Band.

Ms Moran said: “It was an incredible honour, I was welling up a little bit. The sense of ‘we never forget’ was really alive.”

North Hinksey Parish Council organised a service at the Commonwealth War Graves at Botley Cemetery, where more than 700 war casualties are buried.

Ann Dykes, who chairs the council’s Remembrance committee, said: “This is the council’s one big civic event. It brings the whole community together.

“We’ve missed a generation because our parents never talked about the First World War – suddenly people realise that it really was the Great War. We need to remember that as much as we can.”

The councillor, who grew up in Cowley, holds childhood memories herself of the Second World War.

She said: “I remember going up to London and seeing the bomb damage and the destruction; it really stuck in my mind.”

Lynda Atkins, county chairman of the Royal British Legion, said there was an ‘amazing turnout’ at the Wallingford service and parade.

She said: “People were four or five people deep around Market Place, it was brilliant.

“We have got such a close partnership with RAF Benson; they are always in the parade and we had a fly-past of Chinook and Puma.

“This reminds everybody not just about what happened 100 years ago or 70 years ago, but about what is still happening today and all those people still serving.”