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Lest we forget

PUBLISHED: 16:41 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 23 August 2010

Hugh Marshall, medals on his chest, pauses infront of the war memorial.

Hugh Marshall, medals on his chest, pauses infront of the war memorial.

THOUSANDS stood in silence as two days of remembrance services took place to honour Britain s war dead. On Tuesday, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Reverend Vic Lawrence led a service on the forecourt of the Civic Cent

Big turn out at the eleventh hour for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice

THOUSANDS stood in silence as two days of remembrance services took place to honour Britain's war dead.

On Tuesday, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the Reverend Vic Lawrence led a service on the forecourt of the Civic Centre, Gravesend.

It followed emotional remembrance services on Sunday, held at war memorials throughout Gravesham.

Hundreds attended Meopham war memorial, Meopham Green, and stood in silence for two minutes as traffic ground to a halt.

Hugh Marshall, 73, from Harvel, served at Milton Barracks, Gravesend, defending the skies with heavy anti-aircraft machinery.

He said: "These services are extremely important as it shows respect for the chaps fighting at the moment.

"It is important to honour those who died in the world wars but also to think of those in operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other regions we have a presence."

Mr Marshall, who served in the duty regiment from 1953 to 56 and was present at the Queen's coronation, was also a member of the Territorial Army's bomb disposal unit for 22 years.

On Sunday morning he attended the Cenotaph in London where tributes were led by the Queen and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

He added: "I have not missed the annual Cenotaph service for 18 years.

"It is important I go every year and it is important we remember."

Services across the country had added poignancy this year as it marked the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day.

Before and after the main service the Air Training Corp, followed by beavers, cubs and scouts from the village marched to the side of Meopham Green. The Salvation Army Band also performed.

Robert Gilhooly, 69, chairman of the Gravesend and Northfleet Royal British Legion which has 80 members, said: "These events should quite simply never be forgotten.

"The country is still deployed in various theatres of war like Afghanistan and Iraq and unfortunately people often do not realise this.

"What is encouraging is that this year we have seen more and more young kids involved."

He was in the Royal Marines for 14 years and later joined the London Fire Brigade before retiring.

Gravesham MP Adam Holloway, council leader Mike Snelling, Mayor Kent Jones and representatives from Kent Police, the RNLI and the Fire and Rescue Service also attended.

Other services took place at Gravesend War Memorial and the riverfront.

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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