Sheffield fell silent to pay its respects to the nation’s war heroes on Armistice Day.
Schoolchildren, shoppers, military veterans and civic dignitaries gathered at Barker’s Pool in the city centre for the traditional two-minute silence at 11am.
Christine Spencer, chairman of the Sheffield and Districts Joint Council of Ex-Service Association, coordinated the short service, which included prayers led by Rev David Shaw, of Upper Chapel, Sheffield.
Christine said while this year’s commemorations were poignant because they marked the centenary of the First World War, it was important to remember soldiers from all conflicts.
“On November 11 we remember all servicemen who have given their lives so that we can live in freedom, including those from the First World War as well as those who have been in conflict since,” she said.
“We must never forget.
“We thought a lot of people turned out last year but even more came to pay their respects this year.
“We try to make things informal to include everyone and so people can be with their own thoughts at 11am.”
The sounding of the Last Post from the City Hall steps signalled the arrival of 11am when the assembled crowds stood still and paid their collective respects.
Following the silence a group of schoolchildren and a number of crowd members stepped forward to lay wreaths and wooden crosses at the foot of Barker’s Pool war memorial.
Among those honouring Armistice Day was 93-year-old Ernest Booth, from Chapeltown, who served in the Territorial Army before being called up to fight in the Second World War.
He said: “I come here every year, while I’m fit enough, to remember all the lads who did not come back.
“War was very frightening – I lost my best friend while I was serving.
“I’m very proud to be here wearing my medals today.”
Fellow war veteran Cyril Blackburn had also proudly pinned on his war medals to attend the service.
The 93-year-old, from Gleadless Valley, served in Egypt, Africa, Italy and Greece, after joining the Army at the age of 18.
“It’s important to me to pay my respects to those who didn’t come back,” said Cyril.
“I’ve attend Armistice Day services since being a young boy.
“I don’t like to talk about the war, it’s done with, but that doesn’t mean I’m not proud to be here.”
Peter Holden, 67, who served with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, said even years after conflict many ex-servicemen still need support.
“We meet from 7.30pm on the first Friday of every month at Farm Road Club in Sheffield to talk about our experiences, gain practical support and simply to socialise with like-minded people.
“It’s very important to offer such support as some soldiers still aren’t over what they went through.”
See Star People on Monday for four pages of Remembrance Day pictures.