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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Cumbria remembers those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Veterans and younger members of the Armed Forces joined a large crowd which packed Carlisle’s city centre all with their heads bowed in solemn silence to honour those lost in armed conflicts.

Remembrance Sunday photo
Remembrance Sunday in Carlisle

The ceremonial parade followed the Divine Service which was held in Carlisle Cathedral yesterday morning as part of the weekend’s remembrance commemorations across Cumbria.

Representatives from various branches of the armed services, as well as local politicians, military organisations and youth groups, all took turns in laying poppy wreaths at the war memorial.

There was a tear in the eye of D-Day veteran, 89-year-old Ronald Maxwell, as he remembered comrades who had not made it back from the Normandy beaches almost 70 years ago.

He had served with the Royal Navy and landed on Utah beach, after the troops in the main assault had landed, and helped to ferry vital supplies ashore. “It wasn’t pleasant,” he said.

Mr Maxwell, who now lives in Kingston Court, Carlisle, said the annual remembrance services were important in remembering old friends – those that never returned. “It’s important to keep their memory alive.”

Danny Wilkinson, a 69-year-old from Newtown Road, Carlisle, served with 2 Para between 1962 and 1965 and saw action in both the Middle East and the Far East. He said: “It is the comradeship. There was a lot of action.”

He agreed that Remembrance Sunday was important and added: “To remember friends that you have lost and the freedom that the two world wars gave us.”

Defence minister Philip Dunne was also present at the ceremony and he said: “It was good to see the city getting behind the service personnel.”

Later in the afternoon there was a wreath laying ceremony at the cenotaph in Rickerby Park which was organised by the Cumberland and Westmorland branch of the Royal British Legion.

In Penrith, there was a procession through the town centre before a service of remembrance at St Andrew’s Church.

Pete Davies, a 67-year-old from West Lane, Penrith, and served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, said that he was there to remember his father who was gassed by the Germans during World War One while he was in the trenches.

He said: “He survived but the gas was in him for the rest of his life. He was in hospital for four years and when he came out he went back down the pit. He didn’t speak much about it but the cough was there all his life.”

Thousands of people turned out across west Cumbria to honour and remember fallen members of the Armed Forces at Remembrance Sunday ceremonies.

Serving military personnel joined members of the area’s cadet forces, regimental organisations other uniformed organisations as well as members of the public to pay their respects at war memorials across the area.

In Harrington, a parade left the Royal British Legion Club, in Salterbeck Road, and headed towards to St Mary’s Parish Church, with a ceremony at the war memorial at 10.50am.

Chris Bagshaw, the clerk of Workington Town Council, said he had been impressed by the turnout, which he described as “stupendous”, and said the church was packed.

He added: “There was a brilliant turnout by the cadets as well as from the schools.”

He said that during the service there was a simple musical accompaniment, with two drummers, which he thought was very evocative.

Cockermouth’s remembrance procession started at Sainsbury’s car park at 2pm and members marched to the cenotaph, in Station Road, for a service and wreath-laying ceremony followed by a service in Christ Church at 2.30pm.

Town mayor Phillip Graham read out the names of the fallen from both world wars – around 200 from World War One and about 50 from World War Two.

He added that it was important to remember all those who had paid the ultimate price by laying down their lives for their comrades.

“We should remember the sacrifice they made for us – they died that day to give us our tomorrows,” he said.

Ryan Winthrop, of Sandy Lonning, the area co-ordinator for Support Our Soldiers, laid a wreath on behalf of the charity at the Memorial Gardens following a parade in Maryport.

His son Daniel, 20, is a lance corporal in the 4 Logistic Support Regiment based at Abingdon, near Oxford, and has previously served in Afghanistan.

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