SILENCE filled the streets as thousands of people paused in tribute to those who have given their lives for their country.
Poignant services of remembrance were held across Fareham and Gosport yesterday in memory of fallen servicemen and women.
Young and old stood side by side in unity as parades marched through the streets.
At Fareham, the town centre came to a standstill as veterans and cadets, led by sailors from HMS Collingwood, marched through the streets.
With blue skies above and a crisp winter chill in the air, HMS Collingwood’s Volunteer Band performed a series of rousing military tunes to lead the parade through West Street to the war memorial at Holy Trinity Church.
Emotions ran high as the names of loved ones from the town, who served in the armed forces and died in conflict, were read out before a two-minute silence at 11am.
Suella Fernandes, Fareham MP, was one of those who laid a wreath at the monument. She was touched by the service and said it was a ‘privilege’ to be there.
Ms Fernandes, who also attended the Portchester Remembers event on Armistice Day, said: ‘A wreath laid at the war memorial is a minuscule token of gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice made by those who fought for Britain
‘Remembrance is vitally important for Fareham because we must never forget the sacrifices our armed services made and continue to make, right across the globe serving in 30 countries, making sure that this country remains safe – and that the freedoms that we have today continue to be protected.
‘Having visited our serving troops in the Arctic Circle and on exercise in Canada, I have been blown away by the dedication, excellence and service of our armed forces.’
The day was to mark all those killed during the First World War and in subsequent conflicts.
Among those watching the parade and service was former Royal Military Police officer Stephen Haslett.
Mr Haslett, who had been in the military for 21 years, said it was vital to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
He said: ‘They said it was the war to end all wars. But it wasn’t.’
In Gosport, a full military guard was on hand to lead the town’s own commemorations.
Sailors from the town’s naval base, HMS Sultan, joined with Royal Naval Cadets, veterans and other uniformed services during the march.
More than 1,000 people turned up to watch the event, which culminated in a service at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital, in Bury Road.
Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP, said the day was the perfect way to remember past generations who had given their all in defence of freedom and democracy.
And she said she was impressed by the number of young people who turned out to pay their respects at the Remembrance event, giving readings at the service.
Speaking after the parade, Ms Dinenage said: ‘In Gosport the young cadets play such a key role in the readings of the Remembrance service.
‘It feels particularly poignant because so many young lives are stolen in war and conflict.’
Scores of people gathered in Lee-on-the-Solent to watch the town’s parade, which also featured a contingent from HMS Sultan.
Tributes were left at the town’s Fleet Air Arm memorial, with a service later taking place inside St Faith’s Church, led by the Royal British Legion.
In Stubbington, people fell silent for two minutes during a poignant ceremony at the village’s war memorial.
Organised by the Royal British Legion and the Stubbington Churches, the short service was also attended by uniformed groups from across the area.