A CROWD of thousands gathered to pay their respects at Bournemouth’s Remembrance Sunday service yesterday.

Among them were veterans of conflicts across the world, relatives who had lost loved ones in service and residents who travelled from across Bournemouth and Poole to remember the sacrifices of those lost in wartime, including the First World War which began 100 years ago.

The Rev Ian Terry, the town centre rector, opened the service at the war memorial in the Central Gardens, inviting those present to “remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives, in world wars and conflicts past and present, have been given and taken away”.

The mayor Chris Mayne read the exhortation, followed by the playing of the Last Post, and a field gun stationed beside the town hall announced the beginning – at 11am – and end of a period of two minutes silence.

Before the service the youth parade, made up of members of various local branches of military cadets, the Scouts and others, set off from the Square to the memorial at 10.35am, led by the CCF marching band.

They were followed by the parade of veterans, armed forces associations and the Salvation Army Band. Lastly the civic dignitaries were led by the mayor from the town hall.

Aside from Dr Terry, the service included contributions from Rabbis Maurice Michaels and Adrian Jesner, from the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue and Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation; Deacon Roger Carr-Jones representing the local Catholic community; Major Raymond Begley of the Incorporated Bournemouth Free Church Council and David Warden of Dorset Humanists.

Mr Warden said: “So let our tribute to those of all beliefs who have suffered and died in conflict be our resolve to work for peace.”

Among those attending was 80-year-old Colin Bennett from Charminster. “We come down here regularly, but it was lovely to see so many people here today,” he said.

“It was a nice morning, but I think people have made more of an effort this year as it is the centenary.

Sara Gray, 44, from Ensbury Park, said: “It was a marvellous service. My son was in the cadets so he wanted us to come down here today. I am amazed at the amount of people here.”

The service was followed by the laying of wreaths.