Skegness RBL chairman 'honoured' to lay wreath on behalf of county at Cenotaph in London

The chairman of the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion says it was a 'special honour' to represent the county by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Day .

Paul Dixon, who is community welfare officer for Lincolnshire RBL, was accompanied by his wife, Christine, and joined the march through the city which was watched on television by the nation.

"We started at Horse Guards Parade, where we were formed up and we marched on a large loop around the streets of London, passed Prince Willian, and then back to Horse Guards Parade.

"It was a fantastic day and very emotional, with everyone clapping as we walked past them.

Skegness Remembrance Day parade. Photo: Barry Robinson.

"It was so nice to see our country come back together for this special event of Remembrance."

The support for Remembrance Day was echoed locally after last year's processions were cancelled due to the pandemic.

In Skegness, hundreds of people gathered around the memorial at St Matthew's Church.

Representatives of the armed services and veterans joined Lincolnshire Police, local organisations, schools and councillors turned out in force, alongside members of the community.

Skegness Remembrance Day parade. Photo Barry Robinson.

The road around the church had been closed for the ceremony and onlookers fell silent after the Last Post in a turnout that left the members of the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion 'blown away'

Those taking part in the parade had gathered at the Hildreds Centre service yard off Beresford Avenue before marching down Lumley Road and turning onto Lumley Avenue towards St Matthew's Church.

The Remembrance Day service was led by the Rev Richard Holden.

Parade Marshall Tony Kelly, who is a Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion committee member, said he was delighted with the turnout.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Trevor Burnham laying a wreath on behalf of Skegness Town Council. Photo: Barry Robinson.

"We were blown away by the turnout," he said. "We not sure what would happen because we were unable to have a parade last year and feared a lot of links with the town and the groups would have been broken.

"But we were overjoyed by the number of people who got in touch.

"There are 44 on the order of service but since then others were added and the final total of wreaths laid were around 50.

"It's the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion this year and we wanted out Remembrance Day to be good for the legion and the town and we feel in spite of the pandemic we have achieved this."

Coun Carl Macey lays a wreath on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council. Photo: Barry Robinson.

Unable to be at the local parade was the chairman of the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion Paul Dixon, who had the honour of being invited to lay a wreath on behalf of Lincolnshire RBL at the Cenotaph in London.

The parade in Skegness was organised by the Town Council and the local branch of the Royal British Legion, with the support of Empreo Security, the Hildreds Centre and Walton First Aid.

After the Sunday service in St Matthew's Church which was also attended by Skegness councillors, a reception was held at the headquarters of the local RBL branch, the New Park Club.

Wreaths were also laid in ceremonies around the Skegness area. At the memorial in Wainfleet, Coun Wendy Bowkett commented: "It was lovely to see so many at the Wainfleet Remembrance Service - always moving to hear how so many local young men lost their lives in World War One and Two. May they rest in peace and never be forgotten."

Denis Chandler, chairman of the Spilsby and District Branch of the Royal British Legion said members were grateful for the terrific turnout in the town.

"Despite a late notification, the scouting movement turned out smartly in large numbers. I was particularly impressed by the six Standard bearers of all ages who with little tuition handled dipping their Standards like veterans," said Mr Chandler. "I would also like to express my thanks to the firefighters who marched with us and for the two extremely smart lady PCSOs.

Skegness town councillors were amonst the dignitaries at the Remembrance Day service. Photo: Barry Robnson.

"The Legion ranks were swelled by former service people and a representative from the Merchant Navy Association.

Our Standard Bearer for the Day, Bill Atkins, performed perfectly despite having recently fallen and was in severe pain from his injuries. My thanks to him for agreeing to soldier on in that role for the parade.

"It was heart-warming to see so many people in the church for the moving service of remembrance and for the wreath laying ceremony afterwards which was ably organised by our Parade Marshal, Danny Atkinson. Spilsby's mayor, Coun Terry Taylor, took the salute on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen and also attended a short ceremony at the Spilsby Airfield memorial held by Canon Peter Coates where wreaths were laid in memory of the airmen who died there.

"I think it is true to say that the people of Spilsby truly rose to the occasion."

A wreath is laid on behalf of the Royal British Legion. Photo: Barry Robinson.
Wreaths were laid at the memorial in Wainfleet.
Carl Short lay a wreath at Alford memorial on behalf of the National Coastwatch Institute.
Skegness Remembrance Day, Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Service. Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Day. Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Day. Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Day. Photo Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Day. Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Day. Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Day. Photo Barry Robinson.
Skegness Remembrance Day
Skegness Remembrance Day. Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Day. Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson
Skegness Remembrance Parade. Photo: Barry Robinson
Chairman of the Skegness branch of the Royal British Legion Paul Dixon, accompanied by his wife Christine, were in London to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the Lincolnshire RBL. Paul is community welfare officer for Lincolnshire RBL.