Hundreds of people broke into spontaneous, respectful and prolonged applause as a mark of respect and to give thanks after the Remembrance Sunday service in Sheffield.
The sound echoed around Barker’s Pool as standard bearers, veterans and military and civilian personnel young and old marched past the war memorial and down towards Leopold Street.
The poignant tribute came after dignitaries laid wreaths in silence - watched over by four statues of soldiers with their heads bowed and rifles reversed - in honour of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
This year’s service came days after the funeral in Sheffield of Cyril Elliott aged 103, one of the last Normandy veterans to serve in the battle to liberate France in World War Two. Pro-Palestine marches, including one in Sheffield a day earlier, on Armistice Day, had also raised awareness of the struggle for peace.
After the Last Post was sounded, the two-minute silence was observed, and was followed by the Kohima epitaph, spoken by Major Alan Scholey: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”
Pat Davey, chair of the Sheffield and District Joint Council of Ex-Service Associations, read poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ which has the lines: “We are the Dead. Short days ago we lived, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie, in Flanders fields,”
Mary Marsden, aged 101, served in the RAF in the Womens Auxiliary Air Force and was based at Finningley in Doncaster during the Battle of Britain.
Now living in Jordanthorpe, she said there were more people at the service this year than last.
Readers of The Star shared their feelings as they watched online.
Lisa Wostenholme said: “Respect to all our fallen heroes.”
Hazel Lee: “My daughter is laying a wreath to represent Manor Top cadets....very proud mum.”
Carol Williams: “RIP dad and all your comrades, so brave, you are truly missed.”
Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Colin Ross, said: “I’m wearing my poppy to demonstrate my own gratitude and the gratitude of this city to our armed forces personnel, veterans and the families of those who have lost loved ones in service.
“On Remembrance Sunday, and indeed, every day we will reflect together, ‘lest we forget’.”