Honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Photo Neil Cross'The Homecoming commemorative event for Armistice Day at Fleetwood'Mike Barnes, head of Flakefleet with Jemma Short, Shannon Morris Madie Blundell

Photo Neil Cross'The Homecoming commemorative event for Armistice Day at Fleetwood'Mike Barnes, head of Flakefleet with Jemma Short, Shannon Morris Madie Blundell

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War veterans, children and members of the public came together in their masses to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

On two separate occasions - Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day – Fleetwood people proudly turned out to commemorate those who have died serving our country.

Photo Neil Cross'The Homecoming commemorative event for Armistice Day at Fleetwood

Photo Neil Cross'The Homecoming commemorative event for Armistice Day at Fleetwood

With added poignancy, this year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and following the Armistice Day service, a special Homecoming parade wound its way through the town.

The service itself saw a packed Marine Hall.

Fleetwood musician Jack Stote played the Last Post heralding the start of a two-minute silence.

The Mayor’s chaplain Tom Birch conducted the service and spoke of the sacrifice made by servicemen, the gratitude and thanks which must be paid to them and how we should never forget. He also spoke about how people should try and build a peaceful world of justice and tolerance.

Photo Neil Cross The Homecoming commemorative event for Armistice Day at Fleetwood The Royal Norfolk Regiment Living History Group

Photo Neil Cross The Homecoming commemorative event for Armistice Day at Fleetwood The Royal Norfolk Regiment Living History Group

The Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Revd Julian Henderson led the prayers and Deputy Mayor Coun Terry Rogers recited the Ode to the Fallen.

Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw said: “It was a moving service and such a great turnout, particularly from the children.

“That’s one thing that Fleetwood always manages to do really well and that’s getting the children involved. It was a first class occasion.”

A remarkable lady who was two year’s old at the start of the First World War was able to take part in the Armistice Day service.

Nellie Wilson, who will be 103 in December, said the whole occasion was very special.

The great-great grandmother who lives at Milton Lodge said: “It was lovely and I’m proud to be able to attend.

“I remember my father coming home from the war on leave. I also remember concert parties held between 1914 and 1918 at Calderstone Hospital and in Whalley.”

One Fleetwood youngster spoke of what the service meant to her.

Imogen Reader, 11, from St Wulstan’s and St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School said: “It’s special how we can remember all the war people who have died. If they hadn’t fought for us it would be very different now.”

And Josh Wright, who is 10, added: “It’s strange to think that if we had lost the war we would never have experienced Fleetwood how it is.

Two other children Yasmin Barcock and Harvey Garrett thought the whole occasion was well organised.

Christine Smith, who lives in Fleetwood, thought it was a moving occasion.

She added: “I thought it was lovely, I spoke to a gentleman who has been through so much in war and it was also special because my grandson John Press passes out of the army soon.”

Alec Kendal, a former serviceman himself and who has lived in Fleetwood for 18 years, said: “It was very nice and there was a good turn out.”

And Marlene Thomas, who loves in Cleveleys, added: “It was a lovely service and I think the children realised what it was all about and that was nice to see. It was very, very moving.”