SEVERAL hundred people attended the Remembrance Day service at Malton War Memorial to show their respect for those who have sacrificed their lives over the last century.

This year was especially poignant as it coincided with Armistice Day which ended the First World War nearly 100 years ago.

The service was taken by the Rev Dr Peter Bowes, vicar of St Michael’s Church, Malton, and Methodist minister the Rev Geoff Floyd.

Observers commented that more people – young and old, as well as families – seem to be attending the service each year.

Dr Bowes felt this was because more people related to what was happening in the world, especially with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“So many people have a connection with someone who is in the Armed Forces so they are able to relate to those events when they come to a service such as this because there is such a contemporary feel to it,” he said.

Traffic near the memorial was stopped or diverted for the short service, which saw the Last Post played by a member of the Salvation Army before the crowd observed the traditional two-minute silence at 11am.

Twenty-two wreaths were laid at the scene by representatives of different organisations and civic leaders, as well as the Royal British Legion and the cadet forces, while some were from individual people or companies. Another was on behalf of Thirsk, Malton and Filey MP Anne McIntosh.

Those who laid wreaths of poppies included Ryedale District Council chairman Coun Eric Hope and leader Coun Keith Knaggs, Coun Jason Fitzgerald-Smith, mayor of Malton and Coun Di Keal, mayor of Norton.

Others included Insp Andy Everitt, Ryedale’s police commander, the Malton Green Howard Association, the Ryedale branch of the Royal Air Force Association, the students, staff and governors of Malton School, the Malton and Norton District Branch of the Royal British Legion, the Army Cadets, Malton Girlguiding, Royal Naval Association, the 1st Malton Scout Group and the Air Training Corps.

There had also been a big turnout for the Legion’s Festival of Remembrance at Norton College on Friday evening, which was attended by a large number of youth organisation representatives and members of the Kirkham Arts Centre’s choir.

Helmsley Market Place was packed prior to the main service in the parish church of All Saints, as Legion standard bearers, led by a brass band, headed to the parish churchyard where the Last Post and Reveille were played to mark the silence, and wreaths were laid.

The vicar, the Rev Tim Robinson, said: “It was a beautiful setting in the glorious sunshine. There was a very large crowd watching the ceremony and a packed church for the main service.”

At St Peter’s Church, Norton, the vicar, the Rev Rachel Hirst, said a wreath laying ceremony had been held in the church at the memorial commemorating those killed in the two world wars, and at the memorial West window.

Representatives of Malton and Norton town councils, Ryedale District Council, RAFA and Sunday School laid wreaths, and later in the day the public were invited to spend time at the memorials.

Pickering Market Place came to a standstill for the big parade from the parish church of St Peter and St Paul to the Memorial Hall, where the town mayor, Coun William Oxley led the wreath-laying ceremony.

Kirkbymoorside, too, was busy as people packed the Market Place to watch the parade led by Kirkbymoorside Brass Band, which went from the British Legion headquarters to All Saints Church, and the l;aying of wreaths at the churchyard war memorial.

The Remembrance Day service at All Saints, Hovingham, included a presentation of a booklet in which the research carried out by Ryedale Family History Group into each man on the village war memorial is included.

The presentation was made to the Rev Dr Quentin Wilson and Richard Orange-Bromhead of the Royal British Legion by Peter Braithwaite of the history group.