Belper Remembrance Sunday enjoys best turnout for more than half a century

Belper remembrance day service.
Belper remembrance day service.
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Belper’s Remembrance Sunday commemoration enjoyed its best turnout for more than 55 years, according to veterans.

The tribute to the fallen on Remembrance Sunday saw a large crowd assemble in the Memorial Gardens, where wreaths were layed and two minutes silence held before a service at St Peter’s Church, led by vicar Anne Stratton.

Cadets, scouts, brownies, relatives of servicemen, Royal British Legion Women’s Section and civic dignitaries also joined in the parade and service.

Vice-chairman of Belper branch of the British Legion, John Glew, said: “I have been coming to the remembrance at Belper since 1958 and it’s probably the best turnout I have ever seen. There was a tremendous amount of people.

“I think because of the weather and with everything going on in Afghanistan it drew more people. Young people can see it’s their age group getting kiled.”

“The sermon at St Peters also brought home to everyone what is going on out there.”

On Monday, November 11, another short service was held in the Memorial Gardens and a wreath was laid at the grave of Gunner Stone, the town’s only Victoria Cross holder, in Belper Cemetery.

Gunner Stone was awarded the highest military honour for his courage on March 21, 1918 at Caponne Farm in France. After working at his gun for six hours under heavy gas and shell fire he held up the enemy on a sunken road, later capturing a machine-gun and four prisoners.