Thousands of people are set to pay their respects to the fallen in and around Banbury this weekend for a special Remembrance Sunday.
Sunday will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and our area will be part of countrywide commemorations of the declaration of peace.
As well as the usual parades and services at war memorials and churches, Beacons of Light will be lit and bells will be rang to mark the centenary.
Kieron Mallon, leader of Banbury Town Council and president of the Banbury branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “This year marks the centenary of the end of what was called the ‘war to end all wars’.
“Sadly it wasn’t, but as this poignant anniversary falls on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Banbury will come together on Sunday to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice and the families they left behind to mourn.”
In Banbury, a procession through town will leave Broad Street at 10.15am arriving at St Mary’s Church where a commemorative church service will begin at 10.45am.
The Banbury Reservist Force, The Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, The Royal British Legion veterans from more recent conflicts, the cadet forces and civic dignitaries will march in solemn procession from the town hall to St Mary’s.
Afterwards many will lay wreaths at the newly refurbished war memorial in People’s Park.
Open bells will continue to ring and buglers will add to the atmosphere of the remembrance.
St Mary’s Church will ring half-muffled bells in the morning, and open bells in the afternoon and evening.
Banbury’s beacon, in Spiceball Park, will be lit at 7pm and will be one of thousands of beacons the length and breadth of the land to be fired at the same time.
Beacons are also being lit at King’s Field, Bodicote; Poppyfields Way park, Brackley; Chacombe Sports & Social Club; Upper Lea Farm, Swalcliffe and many others.
Brackley will be starting the day at 6am with a lone piper at the war memorial, before a two-minute silence at 11am.
The parade starts at Winchester House School at 2.20pm followed by a service in the town centre.
In Chipping Norton, the parade starts outside the town hall at 10am, marching to St Mary’s Church for a service and wreath-laying, before marching back to the town hall, where dignitaries will salute them and make speeches.
A wreath will be laid at the war memorial on Rock Hill at 11am on Saturday.
While in Shipston, the parade departs from High Street at 10.30am with a service at St Edmund’s Church for 11am.
Standard bearers will march from the war memorial in Bloxham at 10.45am, before an evening service at The Church of Saint Laurence in Milcombe at 6pm.
Deddington villagers will be marking Remembrance Sunday with a service at the war memorial at 11am.
While Sulgrave churchgoers will meet for a service at 6pm.