Hundreds pay respects at remembrance service

By Ian Dipple Monday 12 November 2012 Updated: 13/11 16:32

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Buy photos » Redditch mayor Alan Mason lays a wreath. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4612011MMR8

HUNDREDS of people have turned out across Redditch, Alcester and the surrounding areas to pay silent tribute to those who lost their lives in war.

A sizeable crowd spanning the generations gathered around the war memorial outside St Stephen’s Church in Redditch Town Centre to take part in the annual Remembrance Day commemorations.

Rev Paul Lawlor, vicar at St Stephen‘s and town centre chaplain, told the crowd the names on the memorial were so much more than just names, and their sacrifice should inspire us to make the world a better place for future generations.

"Each name here represents a story - some heroic stories - but all stories ending in tragedy and loss," he said.

"As we remember may we be given a strong hope - a firm hope - that we and the world can be transformed."

The act of commemoration then took place and two minutes silence observed before poppy wreaths were laid by members of the emergency services, scout groups, Redditch MP Karen Lumley and Mayor Alan Mason.

Emma Hopkins, the sister of Lance Corporal Dale Hopkins, also laid a wreath in memory of her brother at the foot of the plaque which was only installed on the memorial days before Remembrance Sunday.

It read: "Dale Hopkins - always remembered, never forgotten. To the loving son, brother, grandson, nephew and uncle, we miss you with all our hearts. Love you forever and always."

Afterwards a service took place in the church during which Rev Steve Levett, from the Methodist Church of Emmanuel in the Ecumenical Centre, challenged the congregation to lay down their lives in the way those had in war by doing all they could to ‘hold back evil in our home, street, town, country and the world’.

Afterwards another short service and wreath laying took place at the cenotaph in Plymouth Road where more than 30 men who died in the First and Second World Wars are buried.

In Headless Cross more than 100 members of the district's scouts, cubs, beavers, explorers, guides, brownies and rainbows paraded from the scout hut in Feckenham Road to The Bridge Church where a service of remembrance was held by Rev Jo Musson.

There was also a huge turnout in Alcester as residents packed into the High Street to remember those who gave their lives to protect the country for the future of the nation.

Coun Mike Gittus said: "The sun shone, the people sang, we stood proud and we remembered."

Similar services took place in Astwood Bank, Studley and the surrounding areas.

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Buy photos» Hundreds of people packed in to Redditch to pay their respects to those dead from war. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4612011MMR5.

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Buy photos» Ex-servicemen Sid Reynolds and Dennis Clarke were among those present in Redditch. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4612011MMR6

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Buy photos» Standard bearers lower their flags. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4612011MMR15

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Buy photos» Cpl William Roylance, Redditch Troop, Army Cadet Force pays tribute to those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars at the memorial in Plymouth Road. Picture Ian Dipple (s).

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Buy photos» Alcester residents packed into the High Street to pay their respects. (s)

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Buy photos» The remembrance parade in Headless Cross. (s)

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