HUNDREDS of people across the Midhurst and Petworth area fell silent on Remembrance Sunday to pay tribute to the service personnel who lost their lives in conflicts across the world.
In Midhurst, hundreds of people assembled at the war memorial, alongside standard bearers, scouts, guides, veterans and other organisations.
The two-minute silence at 11am was impeccably observed, and wreaths were laid by a number of groups before a service was held in the parish church in the presence of Margaret Johnson, deputy lieutenant of West Sussex.
The names of all the local fallen in the two world wars were read out, together with the name of Corporal David O’Connor, of the Royal Marines, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012.
It was led by the Rev Dave Willis, vicar of Midhurst Parish Church, assisted by the Rev John Hickman, Midhurst are chaplain of the Royal British Legion.
The Last Post and Reveille were played by cornet soloist and teacher, Iona Harrison.
There was standing room only in St Mary’s Easebourne, which held a service with the scouts, guides, cubs, brownies and rainbows.
In Petworth, the town band led proceedings to St Mary’s Church.
“For Petworth, it is a particularly moving day because of the bombing of the boys school, which happened as a result of enemy actions,” said deputy leader of Chichester District Council, Eileen Lintill.
At Seaford College, pupils, alumni and family members gathered for a service led by the Rev Michael Barter. The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) presented the standards and led a parade.
Some 57 former pupils who died in the two world wars were remembered in the service. An alms dish collection raised more than £1,900 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Traffic stopped along Church Road in Fernhurst for the Remembrance Service at the village’s war memorial by St Margaret’s Church. Fernhurst scouts, cubs and beavers paraded and wreaths were laid by several people including parish council chairman Andrew Moncreiff and the secretary of the HMS Hood Association, Commander Keith Evans.
The service was taken by the Rev Nick Haigh. The Last Post and Reveille were played by Matt Payne, 16, who wore his great-grandfather’s medals.
The congregation moved inside for the Scout, Cub and Beaver standards carried by Trinity Goacher, Isabel Swann and Lowri Cole to be presented at the altar for the duration of the service.
On Armistice Day, another service was held at the War Memorial recalling all those who had died in the two world wars as well as in more recent conflicts.
In January storm-blown trees wrecked Lynch’s war memorial which had stood there since 1922.
But resident and scion of the British Legion John Pownall was determined it should be mended in time for the Remembrance Service this November, 100 years after the start of World War 1.
Fortunately the statue of St George by local sculptor Philip Jackson had not been damaged, though the pillar was in several pieces.
Grants from the War Memorial Trust who had a national project to refurbish memorials, the South Downs National Park Authority and Milland Parish Council covered the considerable cost for the works so ably completed by Chichester Stone Works.
To the delight of Lynch residents the memorial was back in place for the equally important commemoration date of August 4.
The death of ten Lynch servicemen from this tiny parish who died in WW1 and one who died in WW2 are commemorated on the memorial where a wreath was laid by John Pownall on Remembrance Sunday.