For the seventh consecutive year, we attended the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday parade and wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial on Wood Street, to pay our respects.
Thirteen Wakefield MAG members joined the large crowd which had gathered at the Wood Street War Memorial from 10:30. At 10:45, the parade, which had set off from the cathedral, took the direct route and marched up Wood St, led by the Wakefield Cathedral clergy, marching bands, members of the regular army, members of the 9th Parachute Squadron of the Royal Engineers (Wakefield's own Reserve Army unit), army, air & sea cadets, police, fire service, prison service, a big group of veterans, scouts and numerous others.
The service started after the 11:00 town hall bells, with the two-minute silence and service, led by the Chaplain for the City of Wakefield Branch of the Royal British Legion. At the end of the bible readings, prayers and hymns, everyone was invited to lay their wreaths at the foot of the war memorial. Chas Milner, ex-RAF man, laid our own Wakefield MAG wreath, which we had ordered from the Royal British Legion.
The service was over by 11:30, and we made our way back to Charley Brown's car park, where some headed home to pick up their bikes, whilst others made their way to the Redbeck Cafe on Doncaster Road, where we were all meeting later for the trip over to Mirfield.
From Redbeck, 12 bikes made their way over to Mirfield to meet up with the Royal British Legion Riders (RBLR) Branch, to attend the Mirfield Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service, which was scheduled to start at 14:00. We also met up with Shane & Clare, who hailing from Mirfield, met us there.
We were there at the invitation of the RBLR (for the fifth year running) and our attendance doubled the number of bikes and the RBLR were absolutely delighted we attended to support the parade and service, and boost the number of attending motorcyclists.
The role of the motorcyclists, is to lead the procession, followed by historic military vehicles, with the marching bands, service personnel, cadets, scouts, veterans and everyone else following on behind.
It was indeed an honour for all of us to take part in this remembrance parade.
The Mirfield parade is billed as the largest outside London. I'm not so convinced that is actually true as it doesn't seem that big, however, it's certainly quite sizable and usually makes the BBC Look North News that evening (It didn't this year as instead they gave coverage to visiting European Forces in York for the Remembrance event there - never mind, always next year).
Following the service at the Mirfield War Memorial, the bikers led the procession back to the 'Old Colonial', where the landlord and RBLR had laid on food and drink.
A huge thank you to everyone connected with the parade, it was our honour and pleasure to attend. Everyone agreed it was a great thing to do, paying our respects to the service personnel who have given their lives for their country and our freedom. We will be attending the service again in 2016 (both in Wakefield & Mirfield).