Sunday, November 11, 2012
Fakenham could have seen a record turnout for its Remembrance Sunday commemorations today - and it was a fitting send off for Philip Walker who has stepped down as parade marshall.
Mr Walker, who will be 80 next year, has been in charge of the parade in the town for 14 years and has seen numbers rise and rise as support for the armed forced has grown during modern day conflicts.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve the Legion in this way,” said Mr Walker, who admitted to having mixed emotions on his final day at the helm,
He ensured everyone from Fakenham Band members to ex-servicemen to small children in uniformed youth organisations were in place before the large parade set off from Queen’s Road car park and made its way along Norwich Street and in to the Market Place.
They were greeted by hundreds of people who gathered for the open air service, which included wreath laying, prayers, the Last Post, two minutes’ silence, Reveille and the Kohima Epitaph.
It was followed by a united service in the parish church.
Mr Walker - who served in the RAF from 1954-7 - said the turnout may be a record for the town and he said the response to the Poppy Appeal in Fakenham had also been excellent.
“I think this is a very poignant day to remember those who have died and been injured.”
Mr Walker felt the time was right to step aside from his role.
“Time goes on and I thought it was the right time to finish and I have given them a year’s notice to find someone else.”
Mr Walker said he expected to still be involved in some way with Remembrance Day parades in the future.
In Wells there was a short ceremony and wreath laying at the memorial in the afternoon and then a parade to the parish church for a town service.