COMMUNITIES across Wharfedale fell silent last Wednesday to remember the fallen.

Wreaths had been laid at ceremonies in towns and villages across the country a few days before, on November 8, for a very different - due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions - Remembrance Sunday.

Local clergy, councillors, representatives from branches of the Royal British Legion and other dignitaries assembled again, while respecting social distancing, to pay their respects at the 11th hour of November 11 - Armistice Day.

In Otley Reverend Graham Buttanshaw, from Otley All Saints’ Parish Church, and Town Mayor Councillor Peter Jackson were among the guests who gathered in the Memorial Garden for the occasion.

Rev Buttanshaw led prayers during the short ceremony while Peter Giles, the President of the Otley branch of the Royal British Legion, gave a reading.

The Last Post was played before those attending respected the two minutes’ silence.

The Vicar of Otley, Reverend Graham Buttanshaw, said: “It was a brief and moving time on the 11th of November in the Memorial Garden.

“We had the Last Post and Reveille - played by Joe Bradford, who had also played on Remembrance Sunday, again - and the two minutes’ silence.

“It was very brief - just those elements and a few prayers, but also very dignified and very moving perhaps because of its simplicity.

“And we had a good and responsible attendance, with deputy lord lieutenant Roger Bowers among those who were present.”

Cllr Jackson and Mr Giles have also joined forces to plant a commemorative oak tree to mark the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ Day this year. The tree has been planted in Manor Garth Park with an accompanying information plaque.

It was paid for with support from Leeds City Council, Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) and Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside Department.

In Bramhope, meanwhile, a very short service was held at the Memorial Garden last Wednesday and was led by Reverend Tom Lusty from St Giles Parish Church.

Representatives from the local branch of the Royal British Legion and Parish Council Chair Councillor Hilary Harris also attended, and the ceremony was watched by some members of the public.

A wreath for those who fell during the First World War was also laid on Wednesday morning to join those that had been placed on Remembrance Sunday.

Armistice Day marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918. For the Fallen, which is always read, includes the lines:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.