THE Vicar of Rotherham hailed the attendance and enthusiasm for Rotherham’s all-outdoor Remember Day commemorations.
Rev Phil Batchford led the service of remembrance at Clifton Park on Sunday, which was extended from the usual, short act of remembrance to take account of the usual parade and Minster service being ruled out.
Those gathered by the park’s war memorial joined in renditions of the hymns I Vow to Three, My Country and Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past during the event, which also included traditional prayers and wreath-laying.
See a photo gallery from this year’s commemorations here.
“This year was different as I was trying to make it feel more significant than if we simply had a short act of remembrance,” said Rev Batchford.
“The service was an extended version that was put together by Churches Together and the Royal British Legion.
“There was a really good number of people there. It was said that there were more there than in previous years.
“The general view has been that the service was fitting and appropriate — some people have said they preferred the whole thing being in the park but others said they missed the Minster service.”
Rev Batchford, who had to lead remembrance services online last year due to coronavirus restrictions, said he hoped a Minster service would be part of future remembrance commemorations.
Sunday’s service was attended by veterans and current Armed Forces members, cadets, MPs Sarah Champion and John Healey, the Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Jenny Andrews, and members of the public.
Maltby’s commemorations, which were attended by Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford, saw a wreath laid to workers at the Royal Ordnance Factory in the village, where parts for the Lee Enfield Rifle were made during the Second World War.
Meanwhile, more than 100 people gathered at Rawmarsh’s war memorial.
Three days earlier, on Armistice Day, children from the suburb’s schools, had visited to place poppy-themed artwork at the landmark.
A less solemn gathering was held at Rotherham’s Indoor Market on Saturday, when the Royal British Legion hosted a tea party for veterans, complete with dancing to wartime favourites.