Remembrance services across Havant area in tribute to the fallen

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COMMUNITIES united in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the nation.

From village squares to town centres, people across the Havant area fell silent to mark Remembrance Sunday.

The Remembrance Service parade in Emsworth, ending at St James Church'''Pictures: Mike Cooter (171548)

The Remembrance Service parade in Emsworth, ending at St James Church'''Pictures: Mike Cooter (171548)

Hundreds joined services yesterday to remember those who have fallen during and since the First World War.

In Havant, scores of people watched a parade pass through the town.

Leading off from The Royal British Legion’s Ex-Servicemen’s Club, in Brockhampton Lane, the procession marched to the town’s war memorial where wreaths were laid.

People then moved into St Faith’s Church for a service to mark those from the town who have died while serving in the military.

Among those in attendance was Havant MP Alan Mak, who said he was moved by the support shown by residents.

He said: ‘Across the Havant constituency, communities came together to honour the memory of those who sacrificed for our freedom.

‘The main Havant service at St Faith’s Church was a moving and dignified event that brought the community together in remembrance.’

In Horndean, crowds gathered to pay their respects to the area’s fallen military heroes.

The village’s war memorial was surrounded by many families and children, as well as representatives from military charities, uniformed services and cadets.

Among those at the service was Lord John Attlee, the grandson of Clement Attlee, the former Labour prime minister who helped rebuild Britain after the Second World War.

He said: ‘We need to remember sacrifices made in the past, the mistakes we made in the past and ensure we learn from mistakes made.’

Horndean resident Valerie Roke praised the number of young people who attended this year’s solemn event.

She said: ‘It is important to remember those who have died for our freedom.

‘My father was a prisoner-of-war and he was in D-Day and got captured. It is nice to see a lot of young people here today and a lot of families.’

Streets came to a standstill in Emsworth as children marched through the town for their Remembrance parade.

Dozens of youngsters from Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Guides and the town’s Girls’ Brigade joined the procession, which started in Queen Street.

Led by the Nautical Training Corps band of TS Defender, the children marched to St James, in Palmers Road, where a short service was held.

Veteran Laurence Bath, 72, of Emsworth, was among the crowd cheering on the parade. He was there supporting his granddaughter Ashleigh Levett, 10, who was marching.

Mr Bath, a retired Sergeant in the Royal Artillery who served in Northern Ireland, said: ‘It’s been brilliant seeing her. I’m very proud.’

He added: ‘Days like today mean a lot. We have always got to remember those who died.’

Lieutenant Tom Varco, 26, was watching in his full naval uniform with his partner, Raychel Conway, 29. He said: ‘Today’s turnout has been brilliant. We’ve only just moved here so to see so many people taking part has been great. It’s a nice feeling. Although I haven’t been in the service long, I’ve had people coming up to me and shaking my hand, saying “thank you”. That means a lot.’

Sales administrator Raychel also praised the youngsters for their display of patriotism, and that of those who watched from the sidelines. She said: ‘Today’s been a really great show of community spirit.’

On Hayling Island a procession took place, with dozens of people taking part.

The parade, featuring a number of uniformed groups and Scouts, left from Mengham car park, in Church Road, and went to St Mary’s Church, in St Mary’s Road where a service was staged.

Earlier, on Saturday, communities marked Armistice Day.