St Neots Rememberance Parade

St Neots Rememberance Parade - Credit: Archant


Scores of people turned out in their thousands to pay their respects to St Neots’s war dead on Sunday.

Around 500 representatives from military organisations and youth groups marched in honour of all those who have fought for our freedom in world conflicts, watched by around 2,000 people who lined the High Street.

Many more also gathered at the war memorial in Church Walk and attended a Remembrance Day service held by the Reverend Doctor Paul Andrews at St Mary’s Church.

St Neots Town Mayor Andrew Hansard attended on the day and laid a wreath at St Mary’s Church, Eaton Socon, while Deputy Mayor Councillor Adrian Usher also laid a wreath at the memorial at St Mary’s Church, Eynesbury on behalf of the Town Council.

The parade began from Waitrose car park before making its way along the High Street towards the war memorial.

Ex-service organisations such as The Royal British Legion, The Royal Naval Association and the Royal Air Forces Association marched on the day alongside numerous uniformed and non-uniformed ex-service personnel.

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Youth groups from St Neots also took part in the parade, including the Air Training Corps, Army Cadets, Beaver Scouts and St John Ambulance, plus Army Cadets from Cambourne.

The police, fire brigade and ambulance services also took part on the day.

A special remembrance was held in honour of Corporal Alex Guy from the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, who was killed in action in Afghanistan last year.

Comrades of the 37-year-old, who was from St Neots, called his name before stepping forward to lay a bouquet of flowers.

At St Neots cemetery, a poignant ceremony was also held with Mayor Andrew Hansard and a party of Polish guests from Skarszewy, who came to pay their respects at the Polish war graves. More than 40 Polish servicemen are buried at the cemetery after they died at the end of the war following stays at the hospital in Diddington.

The Polish delegation was led by Mayor of Skarszewy Dariusz Skalski, which has been linked to the Sandy district for the past 18 years.

After the moving ceremony, refreshments were served in Poppy’s Vintage Tea Room where Cllr Hansard presented a booklet containing all the names of those Polish servicemen buried in St Neots.

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Keith Ridley, branch president and secretary of the Royal British Legion, said: “I was completely taken aback by just how many people were there.

“I felt quite humbled actually. It leaves a lump in your throat when you see it - it just really brings it home.”