Melksham town centre ground to a halt yesterday afternoon, as civilian and military representatives marched down the High Street for the Remembrance Day parade.
The procession started in the King Street car park, and moved through the town to a service in St Michael’s Church at 2.40pm. It then marched back down to the Market Place, where salutes were given to the town mayor Chris Petty and chairman of Melksham Without Parish Council Richard Wood.
Tom Sangster, from the town’s British Legion said: “It all went very well, there seemed to be a lot of people lining the streets, and the church was packed full.
“There were men and women in the parade representing the Legion, and quite a lot of ex-service people.
“We also had the army and air cadets, and the guides and brownies, as well as people representing civilian organisations, like the Conservative Association and the Chamber of Commerce. Duncan Hames MP was there, as well as the St John’s Ambulance and the police and fire chiefs, who laid wreaths.
“There are still conflicts going on, and I think a lot of people went to show their support for that.
“There are a lot of people living in the town who have sons involved in those conflicts, or have older relatives involved over the years, and wanted to come and support.”
The veterans in the march were also joined for the first time by children from the Manor School. Headteacher Kerry Haines said: “We are studying the First and Second World Wars this term, and learning about people from Melksham who fought in the war.
“We selected some children to go down and I was so proud of them, they sat and listened through all of the church service, asked inquisitive questions and were so respectful.
“It was really important they saw some of the older people wearing their medals, and putting it into real perspective for them, so they realise it isn’t just something they read about in books.
“I definitely think we will do it again next year.”
A second, smaller service took place at 11am today at the war memorial, attended by children from many of the town’s primary schools.