Hundreds gather to pay respects in Dunstable for Remembrance Day

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Dunstable remembered the men and women of the town who gave their lives in the two World Wars and later conflicts at the annual Remembrance Parade and Service on Sunday.

The parade of the town’s ex-service and uniformed organisations marched from Grove House Gardens to the War Memorial in Priory House Gardens, where Bedfordshire’s Deputy Lord Lieutenant Cynthia Gresham and Dunstable Town Mayor Councillor Terry Stock took the salute.

Hundreds then gathered at the War Memorial to pay their respects. The sun shone as the bugler sounded the Last Post, the two minutes’ silence was observed and then the bugler sounded the Reveille.

Dunstable Town Council chief executive and town clerk David Ashlee gave the Exhortation followed by the Kohima Epitaph read by Councillor Liz Jones.

Mrs Gresham, Councillor Stock and the vice chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council, Councillor David Bowater, led the laying of wreaths at the War Memorial, joined by Armed Forces veterans and organisations together with pupils from many Dunstable schools.

The Rev Richard Andrews closed the War Memorial remembrance ceremony with prayers and a blessing and then all were invited to join the inter-denominational service in the Priory Church.

After the church service the Dunstable Town Mayor was honoured to meet 92-year-old war veteran Doug Bennett (pictured top right), who served in Burma from 1942-1945 as a Corporal in Unit 5 Commandos. Doug attended the service at the church and War Memorial together with his daughter Yvette Hitch and son-in-law Insp Jim Hitch, the community police inspector for Dunstable.

Councillor Stock said: “It was so good to see more people than ever paying their respects at our Remembrance Day ceremonies. It was especially nice to see so many young people. The atmosphere both in the park and the church was memorable and very special.”

There was also a short service at the War Memorial to mark Armistice Day yesterday (November 11).