HUNDREDS of people flocked to Oxford city centre to honour those who sacrificed their lives in war.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mark Lygo, was joined by military units, uniformed organisations, community groups, civic dignitaries, residents and visitors from across the county to mark Remembrance Sunday.

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People gathered in St Giles’ to watch the military groups and organisations march up towards The War Memorial.

thisisoxfordshire: Remembrance Sunday, St Giles, Oxford.
Picture by Ed Nix

A civic procession was also held and the service began with a welcome by Mr Lygo and City Rector Reverend Anthony Buckley.

Mr Lygo said: “Thank you all for coming. It is particularly good that we are able to come together again on this day after the disappointment of the cancellation of 2020 due to the pandemic. It is also particularly important as today marks the centenary of the Royal British Legion. The Legion plays key roles in supporting our veterans and keeping along the traditions of the poppy emblem.

“Remembrance Sunday in Oxford is a way for us to remember as well as express our undying thanks to the service and sacrifices made by the men and women of our city and county and their families in the armed forces and in civilian support organisations.

thisisoxfordshire: Remembrance Sunday, St Giles, Oxford.
Picture by Ed Nix

“We also remember the massive contributions made by citizens of the commonwealth of all parts of the globe.

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“Today we will together give honour to the service and sacrifice made that we could not return and today they all deserve our thanks for preserving democracy and human rights in this country and in Europe. That battle is one we still have to fight for the future. Today and everyday we will remember them.”

Representatives from Oxford University, Oxford Brookes University, Oxfordshire County Council, Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, Help for Heroes, and Oxford’s twin cities of Grenoble, Leiden, Bonn and Wrocław were also in attendance.

Prayers were said by representatives of different faiths including the Oxford Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Quaker and Humanist communities.

When it was Remembrance Sunday last year, the country was in its second lockdown and a service was therefore not open to the public. Instead, a pre-recorded service was held online.

thisisoxfordshire: Remembrance Sunday, St Giles, Oxford.
Picture by Ed Nix

But with restrictions lifted this year, it allowed people to pay their respects once again as a community in-person.

Carol Kelsey, from Oxford, said: “It was really nice to have the service again. I thought the turn-out was great.”

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Maj (Retd) Terry Roper MBE TD Chairman of the Oxford Branch of The Royal Green Jackets Association, said: “It went really well. It’s great to see so many Green Jackets. It was good and the turn-out was great. It’s not just about the two World Wars, it’s every war that we must remember and civilians as well. Just remember.”

Oxford University student Tristan Gauthier said: “It was great to see all types of participation today – from scouts to older personnel. It’s important to remember all people.”

Oxford City Councillor Tom Hayes said on Twitter: "Honoured to take part in Oxford’s Remembrance Sunday service hosted by @OxfordLordMayor—a time to pause, reflect, and remember those who kept us safe."

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