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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Remembrance Sunday - picture special

HUNDREDS of people turned out in Barrow Park to commemorate Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph.

Medals were glinting in the morning sunshine as silence descended around the monument at 11am.

Current and ex-servicemen stood in silence to remember those who had died at war and those caught up in current conflicts.

Stephen Helm, 46, of Gradwell Court in Barrow fought in the Falklands War when he was just 18.

He said: “It’s important to remember the people that fought in the wars and to pay our respects to those who died there. Most people here have a relative who fought in World War Two or who are out in Afghanistan at the moment, so we have to remember what those people have done for us.”

The ceremony was led by Methodist Superintendant and Chaplain to the Mayor, Reverend Martin Williams.

Rows of local servicemen stood alongside uniformed cadets, soldiers, sailors and representatives from the police and fire and rescue services.

They laid wreaths of poppies around the cenotaph’s base after The Last Post signified the end of the two minutes silence.

The popularity of the service proved that people in Barrow still believe that those who have fought and are still fighting for their country should not be forgotten.

Sea Cadet Paige Hartley, 15, of Rawlinson Street, Barrow, was one of the bugle players who sounded the Last Post at the ceremony.

She said: “I think it’s a very important that we take the time to remember them because they’ve served their country and they’re giving their time and effort so it’s important that we recognise that fact.” Bob McGill, 86, from Barrow, was only 16 when he went to war in 1939. He says he stayed in service until October 1953 because he “just couldn’t get out”.

Mr McGill said: “When the war broke out I was in the navy picking up survivors and then 10 years later, that’s when they blew up the boat I was on. In my day, thousands died.

“I was hit three times by the Japanese before I got to come home.

“For the 20 years after I got home, I never bothered going to the services, but now it’s on a Sunday people remember.

“That’s why you get so many people here.”

Mr McGill held up a commemorative coin which signified 1,500 people who drowned on one boat.

Remembrance services also took place across south Cumbria, including Millom, Ulverston and Dalton.

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