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We shall remember

PUBLISHED: 10:10 12 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:12 23 August 2010

RESPECTS: Ian Dunkley at Gravesend War Memorial.

RESPECTS: Ian Dunkley at Gravesend War Memorial.

SERVICEMEN from campaigns dating back to WWII were united at the annual Remembrance Sunday service. A moving ceremony was led by Reverend Jacqueline Littlewood of Christ Church, as hundreds turned out to pay their respects to those killed in the service

SERVICEMEN from campaigns dating back to WWII were united at the annual Remembrance Sunday service.

A moving ceremony was led by Reverend Jacqueline Littlewood of Christ Church, as hundreds turned out to pay their respects to those killed in the service of Britain.

Mayor Bronwen McGarrity lead the laying of the wreathes at the Windmill Hill War Memorial, Gravesend.

Representatives from Gravesend scouting movements, Sea Cadets, Royal National Life Boat, Army Cadets, 402 Squadron and the Royal British Legion formed the parade, accompanied by the Gravesend Borough Band.

Commander Ian Dunkley, formerly of the Merchant Navy and Royal Navy Reserve, organised the parade.

He said: "We have definitely seen an increase in numbers in recent years due to what is going on abroad.

Warrant Officer Peter Singlehurst, 45, from Strood, was visiting fellow soldiers in the town.

The Royal Engineer, who has served in the Balkans, in Iraq and Afghanistan, agreed that numbers were up due to the public's awareness of the current conflict in Afghanistan.

He said: "If you think about it we have 150,000 men and women who have seen active service in Iraq, and we have 9,000 currently fighting in Afghanistan. That is going to have an impact on the public consciousness.

Harry Fleming, 77, formerly a member of the Royal West Kent, was there to mourn lost colleagues.

Speaking about his time during the 1950s conflict in Malaya, he said: "I lost friends out there, left friends behind in Malaya.

"In many ways that war was like what is going on in Afghanistan, no pitched battles."

Sergeant James Goodall, 93, of St James Oaks, fought in the North Africa Campaign during World War II as part of the Royal Armoured Infantry.

He expressed his pleasure that people were turning out to respect the efforts of soldiers past and present, saying: "You definitely feel part of a community.

"On days like this you think of those friends you left behind, and celebrate them.


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