THE sound of silence fell on Swindon today as people from across the town gathered to remember the fallen.

From Stratton to Cricklade, Remembrance Day services saw hundreds of people brave the cold November rain to pay their respects to those who died on the field of battle.

A special service was held at the Cenotaph in the town centre, which saw MPs, councillors, clergymen and other local dignitaries laying wreaths and bowing their heads in solemn remembrance.

Veterans and cadets marched in tight formation to the sound of trilling bugles and pounding drums, while onlookers packed the pavements along Regent Street.

Lines were read from Laurence Binyon’s familiar poem, For the Fallen, as people vowed to “remember them” at “the going down of the sun and in the morning”.

It moved one woman, Julie Brinkworth, to tears.

Julie, 53, from Coate, said: “I think it’s very important to remember all those people who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It really is quite overwhelming when you think about what they must have endured.

“It makes you feel very fortunate for everything you have and it also makes the past seem very real.”

Yesterday marked 99 years since the German delegation signed the armistice in the forest of Compiegne, thus bringing to an end four years of war, a war that American writer Ernest Hemingway described as “the most colossal, murderous, mismanaged butchery that has ever taken place on earth”.

Terry and Barbara French, from North Swindon, were thrilled to see so many people attend the service at the Cenotaph.

Bricklayer Terry, 50, said: “It’s wonderful to see that the tradition of honouring our war dead is still very important to a lot of people.

“Swindon has a proud history of Remembrance and I hope it will long continue.”

Remembrance services were also held in Royal Wootton Bassett, Cricklade, Stratton St Margaret and Blunsdon.

In Eastcott, residents congregated around the war memorial at Radnor Street Cemetery at 2pm to hear a short service conducted by Father David Woodhouse.

Father David welcomed everyone, young and old, and said: “It’s marvellous to see so many young people here remembering something that is a very long distance away from them.”

He spoke of “reconciliation between the nations” and the hope that “all people may live in freedom, justice and peace.”

He said: “We remember with thanksgiving those who lost their lives in world wars past and present.”

The service featured the reading of Major John McCrae’s moving poem In Flanders Fields, and Derek Webb played the Last Post on the bugle.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland attended proceedings along with Liberal Democrat councillor Stan Pajak.

Sheila White, 55, from Eastcott, came along with her daughter Chloe, 26.

“I was at the Cenotaph this morning and I thought I’d bring my daughter along to this ceremony this afternoon,” said mum-of-two Sheila.

“I think, as a town, we do ourselves proud on occasions like this. My great grandfather fought in the war and it’s his sacrifice and the sacrifice of so many others that we must never forget.”

The service ended with the scouts distributing crosses to each of the 104 Commonwealth war graves in the cemetery.

All across the country politicians, royals, veterans and members of the public commemorated the country’s war dead by laying wreaths and observing the two minutes’ silence.

At the Cenotaph on Whitehall, the Last Post was played shortly before the Prince of Wales laid the wreath. This year, the Queen watched from the Foreign Office’s balcony.

In Ypres, at the site of the World War 1 1917 Passchendaele battlefields, a poppy parade took place on Saturday.

The battle, which took place 100 years ago, claimed 325,000 allied and 260,000 German casualties.