Folk turn out in their hundreds for Preston's Remembrance Service and Parade this morning

Preston Remembrance Sunday parade and service
Preston Remembrance Sunday parade and service
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Hundreds of people - young and old alike - turned in bright sunshine under a clear blue sky to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday in Preston this morning.

A parade and service took place at the war memorial on the Flag Market.

Preston Remembrance Sunday parade and service

Preston Remembrance Sunday parade and service

Attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Preston, Councillor David Borrow and Stacey Thoburn, the service was performed by the Parish Priest of St George the Martyr, Preston, Reverend Father David Craven SSC.

There was musical accompaniment from The Brindle Band.

A two minute silence was held after The Gathering was read to the crowds on the crisp morning.

It went: "As we meet together today to remember all who have died as a result of war and terrorism, we recall the World Wars and all who are still engaged in conflict and aggression at this time.

Preston Remembrance Sunday parade and service

Preston Remembrance Sunday parade and service

"We pray for peace and for the unity of all nations that people of all cultures and creeds may be reconciled in love.

"We remember all who from the battlefront or from terror on the streets, continue to suffer the physical and mental scars of anguish, disfigurement, lasting pain and shattered memories.

"We give thanks for all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom and who have laid down their lives in the service of their country.

"We pray for the dead and for the bereaved and for all whose families have been devastated and their livelihoods ruined.

"At this time, our hearts go out to all those who have been forced to leave their homelands and who are at the mercy and power of others as they face uncertain times."

The Last Post was sounded followed by a verse from For The Fallen, read by Colonel GB Stam, President of the Preston and District Veterans Council.

After a two minutes silence, Reveille was sounded, followed by the Kohima Epitaph, read by David Banks, Chairman of the Preston and District Veterans Council.

Reverend Father Craven gave The Remembrance and later read The Act of Commitment, saying: "As we prepare for the laying of the wreaths by our mayor, members of the Armed Forces and the local and wider community, we unite in paying homage to the fallen and calling to mind the often far from glorious situations in which people have died.

"Yet we pray that their lives have not been sacrificed in vain, but rather to remind us of the the importance of cohesion, universal care and heartfelt love.

"Help us to honour one another in all things, that we may share in the pain of the sufferings of others and be there for one another in time of need.

"May we learn from the past and be ever more determined not to fall into the snares of complacency and diffidence.

"May we install in the hearts of future generations the need for co-operation and the sharing of good practice.

"Help us to turn our backs to hatred and disunity and to walk in the light of Christ. He humbled himself by coming to live among us and was prepared to give his own life, as an atonement for the sins of the world.

"In the remembrance of all who have died, whether from the Armed forces of people from civilian life, we pray that we may cherish the gift of life itself and remember its sanctity.

"We look now to the promise of Christ's glory and for the hope of eternal life. We pray that we may live our lives to the full in the knowledge of our allotted lifespan upon this earth.

"May we cherish each other as we remember the glorious Resurrection of our Saviour.

"This gives us hope in believing and comfort in this time of need. We ask this in the name of Christ the Lord."

As the service closed, wreaths were laid by the Mayor, followed by representatives of the armed services and the local and wider community.

One visitor to the commemorations was 67-year-old John Haworth, originally from Rawtenstall, but now living in Preston.

He told the Post: "I lost my father (Jack, 87) about three years ago and he fought in France and got the Legion D'Honneur.

"He was an aeroplane spotter for the RAF.

"He was awarded the Legion D'Honneur about five years ago - he was in the last year of his life.

"We are all delighted for him but he was absolutely proud of it.

"It's personal memories."

Eric Wilson, 75, of Penwortham, said; "I come here every year out of respect. It's very solemn, you've got to pay your respects to those and what they did for us.

"I've been coming here since 1957, when I joined the sea cadets, and apart from going in the navy, I've been coming here every year."

Matthew Mahon, 27, of Catforth, was there along with his wife Hayley.

He said they were there "to remember the fallen".

"My dad was in the Paras," he said. "I'm just trying to remember them all and pay my respects."

Hayley said: "We usually got o the Manchester one but this year we thought we'd go to the local one to show its importance really.

"The older the vets are going, the more future generations are more likely to take it as seriously as we do.

"I think it's important to keep it going from a public point of view."

Paul Scott, 50, of Preston, was in REME for 24 years, serving in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I lost friends and colleagues," he said.

"It's only right you remember them."

After the morning's event, as the crowds drifted away, there was praise for all concerned.

Joe O'Mahoney, 75, of Higher Walton, described it as "marvellous".

"We come every year," said Joe, who was there with his wife Dorothy, 72.

"And this has been the best weather we've had - no wind, sunshine - and there seems to be more and more people coming to this service. It's been a nice service."

Dorothy said: "I thought it was really nice. We see a lot of friends. Some of our friends were in the parade."

Allan James, 69, of Preston, said: "It's just a wonderful thing, really, so many people paying respect.

"I must say that the cadets that formed a guard of honour round the bottom of the cenotaph are a credit to their generation."