The largest crowds in living memory paid their respects to the country’s war dead at Mirfield’s Remembrance Sunday parade.
More than 5,200 people watched the parade of 1,000 forces representatives, civic dignitaries and volunteers march from Lowlands Road to the war memorial in Ings Grove Park for a service and wreath laying. Tim Wood, combined services parade committee member, said: “We believe that it is the biggest we’ve had – certainly the biggest in living memory and perhaps the biggest outside of Whitehall in London. Every year we try to add new elements to make the parade different.
“We enjoy such a nice lifestyle in the UK and we’ve got our armed forces to thank, protecting our liberties. It’s vitally important the we continue to remember the sacrifice that so many have made, and continue to make.”
The first column was led by WO2 Christopher Horrobin, a serving soldier with the Royal Artillery Yorkshire Gunners. The parade included serving members of the Royal Air Force, Army, Navy and Royal Air Force Regiment. Also on parade were reservists, the Army Cadet Force D Company 3 Yorkshire, the ACF The Rifles, Air Training Corps 868 Squadron and the The Royal British Legion Bikers branch.
The second column was led by new column officer Sean Guy.
Clifton and Lightcliffe brass bands provided music during the parade and scouts, guides, the Salvation Army, Masonic Orders and St John’s Ambulance were also represented.
Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell, Mirfield Town Council mayor Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton and Kirklees mayor Coun Martyn Bolt also attended. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant Iqbal Bhana represented the Queen.
RBL padre Ian Grange led the clergy and Mirfield branch president Barry Fretwell presided over the laying of the 60 wreaths.
Mr Wood added: “Remembrance is a deeply personal thing, but when people turn out in such numbers it makes the months of planning and preparation worthwhile.”
Mr Reevell said: “Not only was there a massive crowd, but when you looked back down the road behind you there was a huge parade, which was fantastic to see.
“There always has been and always will be people who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. It’s important to take time out of our busy lives to remember that.”
On Monday, Armistice Day, a short service of dedication took place at the war memorial at 11am featuring Mirfield Free Grammar School band.