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Moments of silence to remember West Oxfordshire's fallen
Buy this photo » Standard bearers lead the parade past Witney’s war memorial, in Church Green
THOUSANDS of people lined the streets in solemn silence across West Oxfordshire to pay their respects to fallen service personnel.
Remembrance Sunday services took place at war memorials in the district’s towns and villages.
This year’s commemorations took place on November 11, Armistice Day, 94 years after the First World War ended in 1918.
In Witney, Royal British Legion standard bearers, veterans and youth groups marched along High Street to the war memorial in Church Green.
The Last Post was sounded and the 1,000 people gathered fell into a two-minute silence to remember those killed in conflicts around the world.
RBL parade marshal Mark Garwood said: “Remembrance in Witney is always a very well-supported event, not just by those taking part in the parade, but also by members of the public who turn out.
“It’s really nice to bring everyone together to pay their respects to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Gillian Waite, 42 of Bampton, attended the service.
She said: “I always find those occasions very moving.
“It is just a lovely occasion when all aspects of the community come together to remember, and it was fabulous to see so many people out.”
Her son, Matthew, 10, took part in the parade and laid a wreath on behalf of Witney Buttercross Kipling Cub Scout pack.
He said: “I was proud to lay the wreath and remember all the people who served the country. It was so emotional.
“I think a lot more about the soldiers who died now.”
Hundreds of people also turned out for Remembrance events over the weekend in Chipping Norton, with a service held at the war memorial in London Road on Saturday, followed by a parade and service at St Mary’s Church on Sunday.
Mayor Martin Jarratt said: “It is very good that so many do still come and we thought perhaps there were more than usual this year.”
A message from Witney’s mayor Harry Eaglestone and town clerk Sharon Groth:
On behalf of Witney Town Council we would like to first of all thank and congratulate all those who took part in Sunday’s Remembrance Parade.
It was truly amazing to see so many organisations come together, both young and old.
The weather was beautiful, and it was so heart-warming to see how much the young people of Witney take the day so seriously. It is also pleasing to see how large all the youth groups are growing in Witney.
Secondly we would like to thank the public – what an incredible and possibly unprecedented turnout.
It is clear that the people of Witney care very deeply about our serving forces, both from the past and in present conflicts and we hope that the message of Remembrance Day in Witney is one that our forces abroad will take heart from.
It was very moving to see the veterans on parade and the collective rows of medals were reminders of how many true, modest heroes we have in our community.
It was with great pride and humility we had the privilege and pleasure of laying the wreath on behalf of the town council and the residents of Witney on Sunday.