HUNTINGDONSHIRE fell silent on Sunday to remember the soldiers who fought for the freedom of our country.

Crowds gathered in the five towns to pay their respects for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First and Second World Wars and also in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other conflicts over the past 100 years.

St Ives mayor Councillor Debbie Townsend opened the town's service in Market Hill in front of officers from RAF Wyton and the American Air Force at RAF Alconbury, members of the St Ives branch of the Royal British Legion, the town council, police, fire service, St John's Ambulance. Natalie Mellors sounded the Last Post and Reveille.

Cllr Townsend said: "It was a really moving service and ceremony. The Royal British Legion said it was the biggest turnout they had for years. I think the Olympics and the Jubilee has brought the community together and because of this, more people want to pay respect to those who have fought for the country and are fighting in Afghanistan."

RAF Wyton commander Wing Commander Mike Brown, who attended the Huntingdon service, said: "This is a time to remember and honour the fallen and those who have been injured in the line of duty.

"Today's Armed Forces continue the proud traditions of service and achievement of those who have gone before them. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict and the 70th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein. As you will no doubt be aware, this year also marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Pathfinder Force."

Air cadets from the 511 (Ramsey) squadron joined the Royal British Legion, Army cadets, scouts, guides and rainbows parading through the town before the two minute silence and service at St Thomas a Becket Church.

Cadet Warrant Officer Dan Payne laid a wreath on behalf of the RAF squadron's cadets, staff and civilian committee.

The Somersham Town Band cornet section played the Last Past and Reveille to mark the silence in the village with the service led by reverends Chris Barter, of St John the Baptist Church, and Bruce Daniels, of Somersham Baptist Church.