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Parades mark day to reflect

PUBLISHED: 06:31 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day 2013 at the Desert Rats Memorial near Mundford where they are joined by hundreds of scooter clubs from across the country.

Remembrance Day 2013 at the Desert Rats Memorial near Mundford where they are joined by hundreds of scooter clubs from across the country.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

Towns and villages across South Norfolk fell into perfect silence on Sunday to remember the fallen.

On a perfectly crisp autumn day, heads bowed and the Last Post rang out in Thetford, Brandon, Mundford and beyond for those who died serving their country.

Thousands turned out at special services across the area, with stories shared and respects paid.

Thetford commemorated the dead at 11am, with a civic parade including mayor Stuart Wright, Lady Kay Fisher and Lady Sarah Leicester, High Sheriff of Norfolk.

Mayor Stuart Wright said it was a proud day for the town.

“There must have been 1,000 people out and it showed that Thetford can do things like this so well.

“Our visitors were extremely impressed with the turnout and the representation from people locally and also from across Norfolk was fantastic.

“We involved a lot of young people in the commemorations and hopefully they will carry that for future generations,” he said.

At the Desert Rats War memorial near Mundford, more than 400 people turned out. including a 200-strong fleet of scooters.

Some had set off as early as 2am, from all over the country, to make it to the memorial.

At the Desert Rats War memorial near Mundford, more than 400 people turned out. including a 200-strong fleet of scooters.

A service was led by Rev Ron Wiffen, of Mundford Rectory, with wreaths laid by a number of groups and individuals, including Frances Dinning, whose husband Les founded the Deserts Rats Association before his death in 2005.

“This has developed so much since he passed away and he would be thrilled with how many are here,” she said.

The event also marked 70 years since the Battle of El Alamein, a major milestone in Desert Rats history.

Rod Scott, chairman of the Desert Rats Association, said the turnout was “incredible”.

“For people to come all this way shows the importance of the event and we are very proud.

“It’s so important that we don’t forget and we will keep working to make sure that people remember,” he said.

In Brandon, around 150 people turned out to see a parade march from the leisure centre to Market Hill.

Wreaths were laid by a number of groups, including the scouts and a delegation of two pupils from IES Breckland Free School.

Following a service at St Peters Church, people were then invited to the Royal British Legion for refreshments.

Geoff Hughes, Brandon town councillor and a veteran of the Royal Corps of Signals, organised much of the day on behalf of the Royal British Legion and said it was an event of vital symbolism.

“It can be a very emotional event and as a serviceman you remember those who weren’t lucky enough to come home safely.

“This year’s event was particularly nice as young people from the area attended and played an active part. They may not fully comprehend what it is all about but it means there will be something there that will grow and blossom over time until they do,” he said.


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