LARGE crowds turned out at communities across Wharfedale last weekend to honour the war dead.

There were big turnouts for Remembrance church and memorial services and parades in Otley, Bramhope and Pool-in-Wharfedale on Sunday, November 10. Veterans, Royal British Legion members, uniformed and youth groups and local dignitaries joined together to pay their respects.

In Otley, a 2.30pm service was held at the Methodist Church following a parade through town that was watched by many residents. Afterwards, the parade reformed and proceeded to the Memorial Garden for the Laying of Wreaths.

Otley Town Mayor Councillor Peter Jackson said: “I thank all who attended our Remembrance parade and service. It is a very moving time of year for so many and I was humbled to be able to join in and mark our respects to those who gave so much.

“I would like to thank the Army Cadets, Scouts and Cubs for attending and especially the young cadet who read the names of the fallen. I thank the war widows and other organisations that came to join us too and the many residents who lined the parade route to show their respect.”

Otley Town Council leader Councillor Richard Hughes said:|”It was a privilege to be involved in the Otley remembrance events and to represent one of the many community organisations to lay a wreath. The parade and service were a fitting memorial to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

“We have read recently about people questioning the value of these type of events; the hundreds who participated or watched in Otley know they still serve a very important function.”

At Otley All Saints Parish Church, meanwhile, the bellringers also played their part. Tower Captain Meg Morton said: “We rang the bells half-muffled for half an hour before the procession set off from Station Road. This is one of our most important ‘jobs’ each year and one we feel most privileged to fulfil.”

At Bramhope the Remembrance parade set off from the Village Hall and assembled at the War Memorial for a ceremony that included prayers, a two-minute silence, the laying of wreaths and the placing of poppy crosses. That was followed by the Last Post, the Binyon Dedication and the Kohima epitaph, and a Memorial Service at St Giles Church.

Bramhope and Carlton Parish Councillor Hilary Harris said: “There is always an impressive turnout in Bramhope for which the Royal British Legion, who organise the event so meticulously, is very grateful.”

At Pool-in-Wharfedale a Remembrance service was held at the Methodist Church with the congregation - this year including cadets from 58 Squadron (ATC) Harrogate - then reassembling at the Cenotaph for a ceremony where the names of the fallen were read and children placed a poppy cross for each. Wreaths were also laid and The Last Post was played.