Record turn out for Devizes Remembrance service

Record turn out for Devizes Remembrance service

Standards are lowered in respect at the war memorial

John Pemberton helps Lizzy to lay her wreath

Harriet Cuthbert takes part in the service

First published in News
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It was standing room only in St John’s Church in Devizes on Sunday as more local people than ever before crowded in for the Remembrance Sunday service.

More than 500 people turned up at the church for the event, with hundreds more waiting outside in the autumn sunshine for the wreath laying and marchpast.

Canon Paul Richardson, vicar of St John’s and St Mary’s, told the congregation: “I won’t say sorry that some of you can’t be seated. It reflects the heart of our humanity that seems to grow year by year.

“Our love for peace is as inbuilt as our capacity for war. The First World War, the centenary of which we shall mark next year, was supposed to be the war to end all wars, as the world raged at the cost in human lives.

“But the next 21 years brought the rise of Hitler and another conflict.”

He said that answers for peace can be found in things that divide us - religion and politics.

Mayor Pete Smith and deputy mayor Sarah Bridewell read from the scriptures while the choir of St John’s sang the anthems Holy is the True Light and God be in my Head.

Earlier Coun Smith had inspected the parade in the Market Place. As well as the local contingents of the Royal British Legion, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Army Cadet Force, Air Cadets, Scouts, Guides, Cubs and Brownies, a unit of the 32nd regiment of the Royal Artillery from Larkhill formed up before marching to the church led by the Wyvern Band.

In the church, Coun Kelvin Nash played Last Post and Reveille on either side of the two-minute silence, while the service was introduced by the Rev John Goodman, chaplain of the Devizes branch of the Royal British Legion.

Among those waiting outside the church was seven-year-old Harriet Cuthbert from Potterne, who was wearing her father Gus’s fire service medals. Mr Cuthbert served in the RAF before becoming a fire officer. He said: “We never miss a Remembrance Parade. It is very important to Harriet.”

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