Marlborough town falls silent in a mark of respect to fallen troops
One of the biggest crowds for years turned out on Sunday to take part in the Remembrance Day parade through Marlborough from the High Street to the war memorial in New Road that lists the names of men from the town who died in the First and Second World Wars.
The number of Second World War veterans taking part has shrunk to barely a handful, but the annual parade is getting bigger thanks to increased public support and the involvement of 4 Military Intelligence Battalion, which has the freedom of the town.
The battalion’s Commanding Officer, Lt Col Austin Pierce, led a detachment of men and women soldiers including some recently returned from Afghanistan.
The parade marshal was the battalion’s Regimental Sergeant Major Andrew Smith, who oversaw the wreath laying ceremony.
A huge crowd of onlookers gathered in the High Street to see the parade assemble and followed it, led by Phoenix Brass, along the High Street and into New Road.
The parade went along Oxford Street and then down Barn Street to the war memorial where there was a large gathering of families and other townspeople to watch the wreath laying ceremony.
At 11am, the ship’s bell from the former HMS Marlborough was rung 11 times by former Royal Navy sailor David Hicks to mark the start of the two-minute silence.
Rector of Marlborough, Canon Andrew Studdert-Kennedy, led prayers before the president of Marlborough Royal British Legion, Royal Navy Lieutenant Comm-ander Mark Simpson, gave the Exhortation.
Phoenix Band bugler Anthony Palmer played the Last Post and Reveille, and during the ceremony the band played Nimrod.
Mayor Edwina Fogg laid the first wreath on behalf of the town. This year there were nine standards flying, led by Marlborough Royal British Legion’s standard carried by Chris Hull.
Five pipers from Marlborough College – Neil Moore, Hamish Lorimer, Vanessa Riley, James Legge and Jonty Thomas with drummer Tom Cayley – played the lament Flowers of the Forest, the Green Hills of Tyrol and When the Battle’s O’er.
The service of remembrance took place at St Mary’s Church.