Your sacrifices will never be forgotten: Yorkshire honours fallen war heroes

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Communities across Yorkshire fell silent earlier today (Sunday) as the county joined the nation to remember its war dead.

In Leeds, the centre of the city came to a standstill as thousands lined the streets outside the Town Hall to pay homage to all our fallen heroes.

Date: 13th November 2016. Picture James Hardisty.
The Leeds Civic Observance of Remembrance Sunday held at the War Memorial Victoria Gardens, Leeds. Pictured Servicemen arriving for the start of the service.

Date: 13th November 2016. Picture James Hardisty. The Leeds Civic Observance of Remembrance Sunday held at the War Memorial Victoria Gardens, Leeds. Pictured Servicemen arriving for the start of the service.

A procession left Leeds Civic Hall and finished at the war memorial in Victoria Gardens. A number of wreaths were laid, including one placed jointly by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Gerry Harper and his children’s mayor counterpart, Grace Branford.

The service was led by the Right Reverend Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds (CofE), and was broadcast on two big screens around the war memorial.

The final parade of military personnel past and present provided a rousing finale as the crowd applauded every single participant.

After the procession had passed, many of the multi- generational and diverse crowd stayed behind to pause for a moment of private reflection and read some of the hundreds of messages left at the war memorial.

13th November 2016. Picture James Hardisty.
The Leeds Civic Observance of Remembrance Sunday held at the War Memorial Victoria Gardens, Leeds. Pictured Wooden poppies in remembrance of those who have fallen.

13th November 2016. Picture James Hardisty. The Leeds Civic Observance of Remembrance Sunday held at the War Memorial Victoria Gardens, Leeds. Pictured Wooden poppies in remembrance of those who have fallen.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Coun Gerry Harper, said: “The huge sacrifices which have been made by so many of our armed forces men and women in times of conflict should never be forgotten, and Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are both occasions where as a city, we can all come together and reflect.”

The emotional scenes in Leeds city centre were mirrored in ceremonies across Yorkshire.

In York, the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps led the procession from Clifford’s Tower to the Memorial Gardens. The service included a reflection from the Gurkha community, and readings of In Flanders Fields by John McCrae and For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon.

In the capital, the Queen was joined by Prime Minister Theresa May, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and a number of former Prime Ministers for the annual service at the Cenotaph in central London.

Date: 13th November 2016. Picture James Hardisty.
The Leeds Civic Observance of Remembrance Sunday held at the War Memorial Victoria Gardens, Leeds. Pictured A packed Victoria Gardens for the annual service.

Date: 13th November 2016. Picture James Hardisty. The Leeds Civic Observance of Remembrance Sunday held at the War Memorial Victoria Gardens, Leeds. Pictured A packed Victoria Gardens for the annual service.

More than 750 Armed Forces personnel were applauded by crowds of poppy wearers as they marched to form a hollow square around the memorial in Whitehall.

As Big Ben struck 11am, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired their First World War-era guns to mark the beginning and end of the reflection in the heart of Whitehall.

The Last Post was then sounded before the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, led a service.

Ahead of the service, wreaths of life-jacket-orange poppies were laid by campaign group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants to commemorate the thousands of people who have died in the last year trying to reach Europe.

13 November 2016.......  Remembrance Sunday commemorations at Harrogate Cenotaph. Picture Tony Johnson.

13 November 2016....... Remembrance Sunday commemorations at Harrogate Cenotaph. Picture Tony Johnson.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Scotland at the Stone of Remembrance outside the City Chambers.

Hundreds gathered outside St Giles’ Cathedral on the capital’s Royal Mile for the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial event organised by veterans’ charity Legion Scotland.

Amongst the sombre reflections across the UK, there was anger over the BBC’s decision to feature French far-right leader Marine le Pen on The Andrew Marr Show.

However Mr Marr defended the interview, telling critics: “I don’t think that the best way to honour the fallen is to fail to report on the next big challenge to western security”.