Tears shed as crowd comes together to mark Remembrance in Havant

PEOPLE wept in Havant as the town came together to honour its fallen war heroes, who sacrificed their lives defending the nation.

Sunday, 14th November 2021, 5:32 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th November 2021, 5:35 pm
Havant Remembrance event as wreaths are laid at the war memorial Photo: Barry Zee

The Remembrance parade set off from the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, in Brockhampton Lane, as hundreds of people gathered in the town centre to watch.

Veterans, cadets and youth groups all took part in the march through Havant before stopping to pay their respects at the war memorial by St Faiths Church.

The parade was given a rousing soundtrack, thanks to the talents of bagpiper Denton Smith and the drums of Hampshire Caledonian Pipe Band.

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Denton Smith, bagpiper accompanied by drums courtesy of Hampshire Caledonian Pipe Band Photo: Barry Zee

At 10.50am 161 bell tolls rang out – one for each of the men listed on the town’s war memorial – as everyone came together to honour a two-minute silence.

Tears were shed throughout the crowd as people remembered their loved ones and those who have served Havant’s community selflessly.

Among the crowds was Heather Griffin, 40, and her husband Michael, 42. Heather said: ‘We have been coming to Havant’s remembrance service every year since we moved here to support those who have fallen – it is such an emotional, yet happy day where everyone gets the opportunity to come together as one big family.’

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Standard bearers pay their respects during the two minute silence Photo: Barry Zee

Sheila James, 79 of Havant, said: ‘I don’t get out as much as I would like to but without doubt, I always try my hardest to be here today.

‘Remembrance Sunday has always been something very close to my heart ever since my grandad passed away during the Second World War.’

Rector of Havant, Canon Tom Kennar, led the ceremony before wreaths were led by civic leaders from across the county, including Havant MP Alan Mak and town mayor Councillor Rosy Raines.

As well as marking those killed during war, the town’s service also gave an opportunity for families to mourn the loss of loved ones who died during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Youth groups from across the area joined in with Havant's commemorations Photo: Barry Zee

Veteran Robert William, 62, who lives in Havant and was a former sergeant in the British Army, said: ‘It has been an amazing day.

‘A day doesn’t go by where I don’t think about my fallen veterans, but it’s days like today where you get to come today as a community to show your support.

‘I fought for my country for roughly 20 years in total and it’s great to see those years supported by all these people today.’

A private service was later staged in St Faiths Church.

Lord Mayor of Havant: Cllr Rosy Raines along with other civic leaders, including Havant MP Alan Mak, right

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