Sun shines on tribute to the fallen as thousands gather in Leicester's Victoria Park
Proud veterans stood shoulder to shoulder with young cadets under a brilliant blue sky yesterday to pay their respects to fallen soldiers.
In the crisp autumn air and with the sun shining, thousands of people gathered at the war memorial in Leicester's Victoria Park for the city's annual Remembrance Day service and parade.
After a two-minute silence – starting and ending with the loud bang of the maroon reverberating around the park – Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens, led a moving service.
About 3,500 people joined in with hymns and listened as prayers were said, not just in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice but also for soldiers serving in war zones today.
The service was particularly poignant for Melvyn and Beverley Reeves, of Thurnby, whose son, Leigh, died in Afghanistan in 2006, aged 25.
"We come to remember our son and to remember all the others who have fallen as well," said Mr Reeves.
"It means a lot to us as a family. It's been lovely this year and I think there are more people than ever here."
Mrs Reeves said: "Obviously, we think about Leigh every day, but at this time of year it's all around us. We're so proud of him."
Mary Salt, who was in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, attended the service with her daughter, Kate Bristow. The 85-year-old, of Cropston, said: "It's a very important day and it's nice to see so many people."
Kate 49, of Beaumont Leys, Leicester, who served in the Army as a driver in Germany for five years, said: "It's not just about the First and Second World Wars, but about Afghanistan, Iraq, everything.
"You have to come and pay your respects."
During the service, which featured music from the Salvation Army Band, City of Leicester Singers and Leicester Cathedral Choir, wreaths of red poppies were laid.
A march followed along Peace Walk, led by the Seaforth Highlanders.
Tony Boyall, of the Submarine Renown Association, was among those watching.
The 68-year-old, who lives near Fosse Park, said it was important to never forget the horrors of war.
"I come here every year," he said. "The country must never forget and it's right that people show their respect for the fallen.
"I tend to always think about people from the association on this day."
Friend and ex-Army veteran Tom Gamble, 63, said: "Each year you come there seems to be a few more people, which is brilliant.
"A lot of that is to do with the coverage – people know a lot more about what's going on."
Paul and Lesley Wilson, of Thurnby, attended the service with family members, including grandchildren Hope Edwards, eight, and Francesca Griffin, nine.
"We come every year out of respect for those who have died," said Paul, 62.
"It's good for the children to learn what it's all about.
"When you watch archive films about the war and see what people went through, you realise how awful it was and how hard it was for the soldiers.
"My grandad fought in the Battle of the Somme."
Son-in-law Terry Edwards, 44, who served in Northern Ireland with the Royal Anglian Regiment, said: "Today is very important.
"It is about paying respect and it's right that the younger generation should learn.
"Being here, it makes you feel like you want to get your boots back on."