Town gathers for remembrance

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The long and the short and the tall, the young, the not so young and the old stood shoulder-to-shoulder in Leighton’s Church Square on Sunday to remember all those who had made the ultimate sacrifice in armed conflict since the start of the First World War.

The town’s annual Royal British Legion Remembrance Parade started from Market Square with a march through the town centre led by The Salvation Army Band to assemble before the war memorial under he watchful eye of Parade Marshal George Compton.

The parade included serving and former members of the armed forces, the emergency services and uniformed youth organisations.

Town councillor Mark Freeman read the exhortation and vicar Grant Fellows led prayers for the fallen.

Wreath layers included 99-year-old veteran Walter Randall and South West Beds MP Andrew Selous.

Mr Compton, who also serves as chairman of the RBL Leighton Branch, said: “It was my first time as parade marshal and I’m pleased to say it went according to plan.

“The parade was very well attended and just seems to get bigger every year, it was a superb turnout by all involved.”

Mr Compton broke with tradition and ended the parade by publicly thanking everyone on the square for being there and supporting the brave men and women of the Army, Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines.

He was rewarded with a huge round of applause that sent the square’s resident pigeons clattering away into the sky.

Mr Compton said: “A lot of people came up to me after and said they had never known that happen before and once again I thank everyone for their support.”