PICTURES: Remembrance events honour fallen war heroes

Armistice Day Wakefield
Armistice Day Wakefield

A poignant silence fell across the district as the clock struck 11am on Remembrance Sunday.

Hundreds of people paused for a two minutes’ silence to commemorate those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and to honour members of the armed forces, past and present.

Armistice Day, Wakefield
Wakefield Mayor Harry Ellis

Armistice Day, Wakefield Wakefield Mayor Harry Ellis

In Wakefield, a memorial parade marched from the Cathedral up Wood Street to the war memorial close to County Hall.

The Royal British Legion (RBL) then held a wreath laying service.

Wakefield Council leader Coun Peter Box said: “This is an important time of year when we come together to remember those who have made huge sacrifices for their country and those who continue to do so.”

In Pontefract, Chelsea Pensioners joined a Remembrance Sunday parade to the town’s war memorial.

The Last Post was played, followed by a two minutes’ silence and a wreath laying. There was also a service at St Cuthbert’s Church in Ackworth.

Brian Berry, chairman of the Pontefract and Ackworth branch of the RBL, said: “It is not just the people who died in the First World War - the Remembrance service represents people who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in all conflicts afterwards, right through to the present day.

“It’s high up in people’s consciences at the moment, due to the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we have seen so many injured serviceman coming back as well as all the deaths.

“People are constantly reminded of the sacrifices our men and women make and want to show their support.

“And they certainly did that admirably in Pontefract.”

In Hemsworth, a parade marched through the centre up to a service at St Helen’s Church.

People then assembled at the town’s cenotaph to pay their respects.

Hemsworth councillor and Armed Forces Champion Coun Sandra Pickin said: “I am pleased and proud for the support that has been shown.

“I am passionate about our armed forces and it is important that we come together to remember the fallen and say thank you to those who have served past and present.”

In Walton, residents gathered to pay their respects at the war memorial on Shay Lane.

Elsewhere in the district, Remembrance Sunday parades and services were also held in Castleford, Featherstone, Normanton, Altofts, Ossett, Horbury, Newmillerdam, South Elmsall, Kippax, Ryhill and Knottingley.

The tributes came two days after Armistice Day commemorations on November 11.

Short ceremonies were held at war memorials around the region on Friday, including Wakefield, Castleford, Hemsworth, and Pontefract.

The event signifies when the guns finally fell silent to mark the end of the First World War in 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November.

People fell silent for two minutes in memory of all those who have died in conflicts around the world.

In Wakefield, Mayor and Mayoress Coun Harry Ellis and Mrs Janet Ellis led the silence, accompanied by children from Pinders Primary School and military personnel from the 299 Para Squadron.

An annual Festival of Remembrance was also held at Wakefield Cathedral on Friday at 7pm.

Coun Ellis said: “These events are a way of honouring those who have fought bravely for the freedom our country enjoys today.

“The remembrance events bring people together to show respect, appreciation and pride for those who have given up everything for the rest of us, both in past and present wars.”