Wiltshire Publications

Issue 448 – Town pays tribute to fallen heroes

­THE PEOPLE of Westbury turned out in their hundreds to honour the war dead on Sunday 8th November.

The Remembrance Sunday parade started at 10:30am on the Warminster Road car park. Led by the Trowbridge Youth Band, the procession made its way down Haynes Road and onto the High Street before stopping at the War Memorial, where a large group of spectators had gathered to pay their respects.
A short service was then conducted, led by the Rev Jonathan Burke from All Saints Church. Prior to the observance of two minutes silence at 11am the Last Post was performed by Richard Bingham, a former Corporal in the Royal Irish, and former bugler to the Queen.
Wreathes were then laid by various groups and dignitaries from the town, including the Town Council, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire John Bush, and a representative from the Army Officer Selection Board, before hymns were sang in the memory of those who have lost their lives in conflict.
The parade then marched down Edward Street and on to West End were the Lord Lieutenant, Westbury Mayor Sue Ezra and British Legion president, Eddie Bridges, took a salute from the parade participants.
Parade Marshall Alan Smith, said, “All the comments I’ve received is that it was absolutely wonderful. The band were a godsend.
“It was a good crowd and the collection boxes were weighed down, I’m pleased to say the people of Westbury dug deep in their pockets during the economic crisis. It is important that people come out to remember the dead.
“I’d just like to thank all the people who participated in the parade. Everyone looked in step, especially the youngsters who don’t have much chance to take part in this sort of thing. I was entirely impressed with the whole scene.”
Westbury Mayor cllr Sue Ezra echoed Mr Smith’s positive comments. She said, “I thought it went really well. It was a good turnout from the people which I think is important. It’s nice to see people honouring the dead, regardless of the conflict, particularly as we’re fighting in Afghanistan at the moment. When I got home I saw that we had lost another soldier there, it’s a timely reminder why we remember.”
Eddie Bridges, Westbury British Legion president, said, “All in all I think it went very well. The band did a very good job and we’d like to hopefully book them for next year as well.
“It was a good turnout, we gave out over 300 hymn sheets. It’s important that people come down to show their respect for the dead. I’m very pleased, it makes all the effort worthwhile.”
Colour Sergeant Charlie Lawrence, who laid a wreath on behalf of the Army Officer Selection Board, said, “It was a proud day and I think that Westbury have done themselves credit. Lots of little towns don’t try as hard as Westbury and I take my hat off to them. I think the British Legion have done a cracking job.”
After the parade Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, John Bush, said, “I thought it went very well, it was an honour to be here. I thought the band were excellent for their first time.”
Richard Bingham, the Queen’s former bugler who performed the Last Post, said, “It’s an honour to do this today. It’s never a disappointment to play in public, especially with what we’re here for today.”