Bright sunlight burst through the clouds above St Mary’s Church in Melton this morning (Sunday) as veterans, members of the armed forces, civic leaders and dignataries arrived for the annual service of remembrance.
It was as though the weather was symbolising peace breaking out on the First World War battlefields exactly 100 years ago.
Crowds had lined the streets 10-deep in places as the annual parade had made its way from Chapel Street and through the town centre via Sherrard Street and Market Place.
Veterans and members of the town branch of the Royal British Legion took part in the march, along with serving personnel with the Defence Animal Training Regiment, firefighters, St John Ambulance first aiders and young people from the Scouts, cubs, brownies and the 1279 (Melton Mowbray) Air Training Corps.
St Mary’s was packed for the service with a large screen this year featuring images reflecting Melton wartime memories.
The party then moved on to Memorial Gardens for wreaths to be laid by leading civic figures, including Mayor of Melton, Councillor Pru Chandler, and the Last Post to be sounded. A large crowd also attended this event.
This was the third major military parade in the town this year, following the centenary event for the RAVC in July and September’s Battle of Britain parade in September, which doubled as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF.
Melton people have turned out in big numbers for all of them.
Attention now switches to the Play Close park, where the names of Melton’s fallen will be read at 6.15pm during an outdoor service tonight.
A beacon will be lit at 7pm, as part of a nationwide initiative called Battle’s Over, and the bells of St Mary’s will chime at 7.05pm to signify peace being declared at the end of the Great War a century ago.
Look out for a full report and picture spread from today’s Remembrance Sunday events on our website tomororow.
You can see video of today’s parade and wreath-laying ceremony now by following us on @meltontimes on Twitter.