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Saluting our fallen heroes in Wiltshire
The Remembrance Day Parade in Marlborough was one of the biggest seen in the town in recent years, despite the dwindling number of war veterans on parade.
Retired soldier John Bower and former merchant seaman John O’Keeffe, both 88, were among the oldest Second World War veterans taking part in Sunday’s parade.
Mr Bower, who lives in Barrow Close and was formerly a shop manager, served with the 1st Northampton Yeomanry, and Mr O’Keeffe, formerly Marlborough’s town crier, who lives in York Place, was in the Merchant Navy and took part in wartime convoys.
Marlborough has developed formal links with 4 Military Intelligence Battalion, based at Bulford on Salisbury Plain, and about 100 of its soldiers, led by their commanding officer Lt Col Austen Pearce, joined the parade.
A large number of young people took part, including the Scouts, Cubs, Brownies, Army Training Corps and Air Training Corps.
Mayor Alexander Kirk Wilson led town councillors and was joined by Coun Jane Scott, the leader of Wiltshire Council, who laid a wreath on behalf of the council.
The parade assembled in High Street and made its way to the war memorial in New Road, where the wreath-laying took place after the rector, the Rev Andrew Studdert Kennedy, gave his blessing.
Royal British Legion chairman Bill Copeland gave the Exhortation and Phoenix bandsman Anthony Palmer played the Last Post and Reveille with the haunting sounds of his trumpet resounding off the adjacent buildings in otherwise total silence.
The Remembrance Sunday parade, church service and wreath laying was a solemn event in Devizes on Sunday.
The parade formed in the Market Place and, after being reviewed by mayor Sue Evans, the procession made its way to St John’s Church for the service taken by Canon Paul Richardson, which was relayed to people in Long Street by Devizes Hospital and Community Radio.
Following the service, wreaths were laid by Coun Mrs Evans, Bob Shergold, of the Devizes branch of the Royal British Legion, and representatives of the Army, Scouts, Guides, Brownies and Cubs, Army Cadet Force, Air Cadets, St John Ambulance, police, fire and ambulance services, Devizes Lions and other community groups.
Devizes MP Claire Perry, Chris Callow, chairman of Roundway Parish Council, Wiltshire councillor Jeff Ody and town councillors Ray Parsons and Ray Taylor also laid wreaths.
At Potterne, some 20 members of the family of Private Alfred Moxham attended the commemoration.
Private Moxham was born and raised in Lower Street – now Whistley Lane – Potterne, and was killed attacking the German lines on the second day of the Battle of the Somme on July 2, 1916.
His nephew Alfred Moxham, 81, of Avon Road, Devizes, who was named after his uncle, laid a wreath on behalf of the family.
Mr Moxham said: “I’m not old enough to remember my uncle but it is good to mark his sacrifice and the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives for this country.”
Other members of Pte Moxham’s family at the service were great nephews John Oram, Denis and Ray Heard and Mark Wickham, great niece Brenda Denny, great great nephew Mark Wickham and their partners. Mr Mox-ham’s brother Dennis was unwell and could not attend.
General Sir Bob Pascoe, chairman of Potterne RBL, read the Exhortation and, inside St Mary’s Church, spoke of the sacrifices of Pte Moxham and others.
He also mentioned Ordinary Signalman Reginald Davis, of the Royal Navy, who also hailed from Potterne, and was killed, aged 20, on May 31, 1916, when HMS Invincible was sunk by German battleships during the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea.