VETERANS, residents and public figures across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole fell silent this morning at Remembrance Sunday services.

All three towns held poignant ceremonies at their war memorials, as well as services of remembrance taking place elsewhere across the conurbation.

In Bournemouth, crowds gathered in the Central Gardens to pay their respects at the annual service.

The thousands of assembled people fell silent, before readings, hymns and multi-faith prayers.

The service was led by Revd Dr Steve Parselle, and saw a number of public figures in attendance, including Bournemouth’s councillors, MPs Conor Burns and Tobias Ellwood, Bournemouth mayor Cllr Anne Filer and representatives from the fire and police services.

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Cllr Filer said the service was ‘amazing’ and that there was ‘such a feeling of unity.’

“The world is on fire at the moment, there are so many conflicts, and you could just sense that people wanted to be together,” she said.

“I was very pleased that the service had people of all faiths, everybody respected everybody else.

“I was particularly impressed by so many youngsters, parading.

“I thought the day was dignified, and it was just what we needed.”

Mr Ellwood said the scale of the public support at the act of remembrance reflected the importance of the past and the ‘sacrifices made for the freedoms that we enjoy today.’

“It is a real privilege to participate in this remembrance service here in Bournemouth, as we reflect on past sacrifices, on the fallen dead, but also pay tribute to the next generation who are watching our backs and keeping us safe, those in uniform today,” the Bournemouth East MP said.

“I’m really pleased, particularly after what has been a highly charged weekend, that everything has gone off peacefully.”

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Mr Burns said remembrance is important to remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives to protect the freedom we now enjoy.

“I think it’s especially poignant this year, given how some are seeking to perhaps misuse that freedom that we enjoy,” the Bournemouth West MP said.

“It was beautiful to see it, as always, executed well and respected by the large numbers of people there to watch.”

Families gathered in Christchurch to pay their respects, with young and old lining the High Street as the traditional parade made its way to the Priory from the Royal British Legion in Bargates.

Beforehand, wreaths were laid at a service at Purewell Cross War Memorial and then in the Garden of Remembrance at the Priory Church, including by the mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Viv Charrett.

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Cadets and veterans alike took part in the parade, as well as the Royal British Legion, armed forces units and the town council.

They processed down the High Street, before the Priory’s service of remembrance.

At the war memorial in Poole Park, the traditional remembrance ceremony took place.

Members of the Poole Sea Cadets Marching Band led the parade, with a bugler marking the start and end of the two-minute silence.

The service was led by Revd Timothy Meachin, with the Poole Mayor, Jo Clements in attendance.

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In Broadstone, the community marked the day with a parade and wreath ceremony at its war memorial.

Around 100 participants from the serving community at Bovington Garrison, local veterans, Army and RAF cadets, Scouts and Girl Guides and members of the emergency services were in attendance.

The parade was led by the Dorset Youth Marching Band, with wreaths laid by BCP Council’s leader Cllr Vikki Slade, chief operating officer, Jess Gibbons and Cllr Peter Sidaway.

The Royal Marines Association, the Royal Signals Association and the Parachute Regiment Association also had wreaths laid on their behalf, along with the local groups and services.

The community turned out in numbers to line the parade route, with around 200 people marking the occasion.

The parade then marched to St John’s Church, where a remembrance service was held, with the names of those Broadstone residents who were killed in the First and Second World Wars read out.  

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In Highcliffe, a special service of remembrance took place at St Mark’s Church, at the war memorial.

Around 250 people attended the traditional service at St Mark’s Church, Highcliffe, many of them families and children. 

Wreaths were laid by the parish council, veterans and families of veterans, Highcliffe Rotary and young representatives of Scouts, Cubs, Rainbows, Squirrels, Guides and Brownies. Children from St Mark’s School laid wooden crosses. 

Ward councillor Andy Martin read In Flanders Fields, as the community fell silent to remember those who died from the area.

The service was taken by the vicar, the Reverend Veronica Brown.