A SOLEMN silence fell over Sheffield as thousands of people came together to remember the men and women who lost their lives defending the country.
The city centre came to a standstill as the Town Hall clock struck at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month for the annual Remembrance Day service.
With proud chests bearing scarlet poppies, generations old and young turned out in force to pay their respects to those who gave their lives in past wars, while honouring members of the Armed Forces in current conflict.
A parade made up of servicemen and women, veterans, young cadets and military bands paraded through the streets before arriving at the war memorial at Barker’s Pool, polished badges gleaming in the sunshine.
A half-mast Union flag danced in the breeze of crisp autumnal weather and thousands of heads bowed in unison following the call of a bugler’s Last Post, signalling the start of a two-minute silence.
Wreaths were laid at the foot of the memorial and only the water which bubbled from the fountains could be heard as the poignant scenes played out under a clear blue sky.
“I’ve brought my daughter because I think it’s important children don’t forget the sacrifice of others,” said Kayleigh Marshall, aged 35, of Batemoor, Sheffield.
“I want her to understand how important it is.”
The Lord Mayor, Coun John Campbell, said: “This is a time to reflect on all those who have given their lives serving their country.”
Special prayers were read aloud before the crowd joined in a chorus of God Save the Queen.
For Jake Goacher, 81, and John Williams, 65, of Walkley - both former members of the Royal Marines - the occasion allowed them not only to mark fallen friends, but also to reflect on their lives in the military.
John said: “It’s not just about remembering the bad times. You ask anyone who’s served and they’ll tell you the camaraderie is one of the best things about it.
“Soldiers aren’t just blokes who run around with guns, they have feelings.”
Jake said: “When I first joined there was 36 of us in two barrack rooms. You didn’t know anyone by their proper name, just nicknames.
“It’s nice to see so many people at the service today.”
In Barnsley, members of the Royston branch of the British Legion rolled out their standard for the last time.
The five remaining members of the group, all between the ages of 77 and 91, marked their last Remembrance weekend together with a final function at The Ring O’ Bells pub where their first meeting was held 86 years ago.
One of the last actions of the branch was to commission a hand-made wooden corbel to house the standards on the south wall of the tower at the village’s St John the Baptist church.