A record crowd assembled on Eastleigh recreation ground on Remembrance Sunday to honour the memory of the town’s fallen.
The exceptionalyl mild weather and the World War One centenary boosted numbers at the service which was led by Salvation Army Envoy Margaret Moore and organised by the Eastleigh and District Royal British Legion.
Music was provided by the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band (The Spitfires) whose buglers also sounded the last post.
Local dignitaries laid wreaths at the town’s newly refurbished war memorial along with veterans and representatives from Eastleigh’s twin towns, cadet forces and youth organisations.
Addressing the congregation Eastleigh’s mayor Cllr Tony Noyce said:
“We are here today to remember all those men and women who gave their lives in the First World War, the Second World War and all the other conflicts past and present.
As we lay these poppy wreaths together with our twinning representatives from Villeneuve St Georges and Kornwestheim we will remember the ultimate sacrifices these brave and gallant people made.
Let us not forget that they gave their lives so that we can live our lives in peace and freedom.
We will never forget them.”
Representing Eastleigh’s French twin town of Villeneuve St Georges, Marc Thibberville told the crowd how the first world war had been caused by the ‘madness’ of nationalism.
“A century ago nationalist madness threw the world into one of the worst wars ever”
Wars show us that we still have a lot to do for peace that’s why we must always remember what war is and the millions of people who fell – nous nous souviendrons d’eux – we will remember them.”
The Erster Bürgermeister of Koenwesthim, Dietmar Allgaier said
“As twin towns we care for our friendship; we feel sympathy for each other; we confide in each other and our regular meetings are the basis for peace.
Thus we prevent wars and provide cooperation.”
Herr Allgaier warned:
“There must be no place for hate, violence, xenophobia and discrimination in our society.”
Wreaths were laid by the Deputy Lieutenant for Hampshire Prof. Khalid Aziz LVO DL and His Worship the Mayor of Eastleigh Cllr Tony Noyce,
M.Marc Thiberville (for Villenueve St Georges), Erster Burgemeister Dietmar Allgaier (for Kornwestheim) and Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton.
The following Freemen of the Borough also came forward:
Lord and Lady Chidgey
Councillor Godfrey Olson OBE
Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment
The following organisations and individuals laid wreaths:
Eastleigh and District British Legion
Borough of Eastleigh
Royal Artillery Veterans Winchester and Eastleigh Branch,
Paul Capper Funeral Directors
Rotary Club of Eastleigh
Eastleigh Fire Station
Mark Latham PPC (for Eastleigh Labour Party)
Ghurkha Nepal Association
Polish Ex-Combatants Association
11 Platoon 2 Company Army Cadet Force
1216 Sqn (Eastleigh) Air Training Corps
Eastleigh St John’s Ambulance
Eastleigh Red Cross
A H Rogers & Sons Funeral Directors
Eastleigh Twinning Association
14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band
Southampton and District MCC
Glynn Davies-Dear (Chairman Ukip Eastleigh)
Royal Hampshire Regiment Comrades Association,
Patricia Culligan (Ukip PPC)
Wessex Blood Runners
Vale of Itchen Lodge Freemasons,
Royal British Legion Riders Branch
Royal Naval Association
Lions Club of Eastleigh
Burma and Malaya Veterans
Ukip County Council Group
The service ended with a march past the Old Town Hall and included motorcycle outriders, a pair of handsome horses from Paul Capper and vintage military vehicles.
The salute was taken by the Mayor of Eastleigh.