Generations pay respects at Remembrance services in Malmesbury and surrounding villages

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Town crier David Shelley at the Remembrance parade in Malmesbury Town crier David Shelley at the Remembrance parade in Malmesbury

Hundreds of families spanning several generations attended Remembrance services in Malmesbury and the surrounding villages on Sunday.

Young and old stood side-by-side to remember the fallen from both world wars and from more recently.

Services took place at Malmesbury Abbey, Sherston, Crudwell and at the Malmesbury War Memorial at St John’s Bridge for the laying of the wreath.

Derek Tilney, the chairman of the Malmesbury branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “Many of those on the memorial have been lost at sea and having no known grave stone the memorial becomes a very important thing for the families.

“After laying the wreath we went to Sherston where they had a very full service with lots of youth organisations such as the Brownies, Scouts and Guides; the church was absoutely packed.

“In the afternoon we went to the abbey for the civic service and there wasn’t a spare space left.”

The Malmesbury concert band performed before and after the service, with soldiers from 9th regiment Royal Logistics Corps, based at Hullavington, providing the guard of honour up to the entrance of the Abbey.

Among those to lay wreaths at the Abbey service was the Royal British Legion, the town council represented by mayor Coun. John Gundry, north Wiltshire MP James Gray, Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott, the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, the High Sheriff, the Warden and Freeman, Wiltshire Police, the Army, Malmesbury air cadets and Wiltshire Fire Service.

Abbey vicar, the Rev Neill Archer, said: “It’s a special service because it brings together serving military, families of those lost in conflict and families of people serving overseas.

“It’s a real mix of our community, and what’s quite striking is that we are a very very busy world and then suddenly there’s one time of the year where we all just stop and reflect and spend a few minutes in quiet reflection.”

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