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REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: Marching to honour comrades who fell
OXFORDSHIRE is preparing to fall silent on Sunday to remember the brave men and women who died serving their country at war.
Thousands of people are expected to line streets across the county and take part in parades as Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday coincide on November 11.
Wreaths of red poppies will adorn war memorials, churchyards and cemeteries in towns and villages across the county as the heroes of both world wars and recent conflicts are commemorated.
Royal British Legion county vice-chairman Jim Lewendon said: “We are expecting about 50 to 60 veterans at St Giles, Oxford, but it’s a huge day for us right across the county.
“All the old boys and women will be out, in step and in time. Some of us are getting on now so not as fast as we used to be, but it is sure to be a great day.
“We will also be marching for those who lost their lives recently, in Afghanistan and places like that. It will be very special.”
In St Giles, the service will start at 10.30am and will be followed by a march past where Lord Mayor of Oxford Alan Armitage and Oxfordshire’s Lord Lieutenant Tim Stevenson will take the salute, before a wreath is placed at the war memorial.
A service will also take place at the Commonwealth War Graves section of Botley Cemetery, in North Hinksey Lane.
Yesterday the cemetery became the first in the UK to have an interactive information panel placed in its grounds.
In Wallingford, the service will take place in Market Square from 10.30am on Sunday, with representatives from RAF Benson and local dignitaries.
After the wreath laying, the mayor will lead people into the civic church of St Mary’s church for a service led by the rector, the Rev David Rice.
In Didcot, two events will take place. At Edmonds Park maroons will be fired at 11am to start the two-minute silence.
The annual parade leaves Edinburgh Road car park at 2.45pm, for a Service of Remembrance at the Civic Hall, starting at 3pm.
In Abingdon, a church service will begin at 10am in St Helen’s Church on Sunday before the town band leads the way to the war memorial for wreath laying.
The wreath laying will take place at 10.50am, and will include representatives from Abingdon’s German twin town Schongau.
In Witney a traditional parade, with members the Boys Brigade, Air Training Cadets and the Royal British Legion will march to the War Memorial in Church Green to take part in the 10.45am service, where a two-minute silence will be held, before the service continues in St Mary’s Church.
The Remembrance Day parade in Banbury leaves the Town Hall in Broad Street at 10.15am and makes its way to St Mary’s Church for a service at 10.45am.
Following the service, wreaths will be laid in People’s Park at about 11.45am.
In Faringdon, All Saints Church will host a service at 10.50am, and in Watlington, there will be a parade from the town hall at 10.30am to the war memorial for a service at 11am. Other services and wreath laying ceremonies will also be taking place in many villages across the county.