War widow, 101, lays wreath  at Skegness Remembrance parade for husband lost in battle

A 101-year-old war widow lay a wreath at the memorial in Skegness in memory of her lost love.

Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.

Ken Lilley died in the Battle of Dunkirk during the Second World War at the age of 22 - leaving a wife and two children back home.

Margaret Cherry went on to remarry but has never forgotten her first husband.

"Rain or shine, I wouldn't miss Remembrance Day," she said. "I'll carry on coming as long as I can."

Margaret Cherry, 101, laying a wreath at the memorial. Photo: Barry Robinson.

Mrs Cherry lay a wreath on behalf of the Royal Army Service Corp.

More than 45 wreaths were placed around the memorial outside St Matthew's Church by representatives of local groups, the emergency services, local authorities, the armed forces and schools who paraded through town.

However, the ceremony was bitter sweet as the future of Skegness' Remembrance Day parade is uncertain due to dwindling members at the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion.

Mike Houldershaw, chairman of the Skegness branch, was at the ceremony. "There is plenty of support from the local community for the Rememberance Parade to go on but we are all getting older and the numbers of members are dwindling," he said.

Maraget Cherry with the Royal Army Service Corp wreath at Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.

"Next year there are five special dates including the Korean War, VE Day, VJ Day Remembrance Day and Armistice Day but we cannot day how we will be able commemorate them."

A special meeting of the Skegness branch is taking place tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the future.

It may see Skegness Town Council taking a more active role in organising Remembrance Day in a completely different format.

Until now, Skegness Town Council has been responsible for organising the road closures, marshalls and crowd control around the memorial. They also get the parade order of service printed once it is confirmed from the RBL..

Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Dannatt lays a wreath on behalf of Skegness Town Council.

Steve Larner, clerk to Skegness Town Council, told councilllors at Wednesday's meeting: "We finally managed to get enough marshalls for the parade to go on, but it has been more of a struggle than last year which was the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

"We may see the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion folding as there are not enough fit, active members, which could mean we will have to look at changes to how Remembrance Day is organised at the church."

Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.