Holybourne’s Act of Remembrance on November 12 began with an air raid siren at 10.45am before the pipes and drums of the Rose and Thistle Pipers led the parade.
Major Adrian Stratta introduced the themes of service, community and remembrance spoken about by Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Alan Titchmarsh.
Mr Titchmarsh offered personal reflections on the Queen’s service and a perspective for the future under King Charles III.
He said how fortunate the people of Holybourne were to live in the Hampshire Downs and spoke of the need to manage the area for future generations.
Marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, Major Stratta introduced former colleague WO Mark Desborough to reflect on the campaign.
As a young private in 2 PARA, who sailed south on North Sea ferry MV Norland, he watched the Royal Navy fight air attacks and saw the loss of ships in Bomb Alley. He talked about fighting at Goose Green and Wireless Ridge, hand-to-hand combat, the loss of comrades and helping the Welsh Guards ashore after the sinking of Sir Galahad at Fitzroy.
WO Desborough uses those experiences to help train and prepare soldiers for conflict, potentially in Ukraine – a country he parachuted into with Major Stratta’s company as part of a NATO Partnership for Peace exchange in 1997. He emphasised the effect of and need for local Remembrance events.
Revd Andrew Micklefield offered his direction and prayers, Royal Navy Captain John Fitzpatrick gave the Exhortation and WO Tom Bagley brought the parade to attention before the Last Post. Tony Wilman counted the two minutes’ silence before playing Reveille.
Laying wreaths were Mr Titchmarsh, East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds, Alton town mayor Cllr Ginny Boxall, Cllr Andrew Joy, Cllr Graham Hill, Holybourne Village Association chair Jerry Janes – who read the names of the Fallen from Holybourne – Captain Fitzpatrick, WO Desborough, Wg Cdr Rebecca Bassett from RAF Odiham, Derek Maughan, Derek Gardner, John McLean, WPC Paula Jackson, Alan Armstrong, David Andrews, Scouts, Brownies, Cadets and schools.
Colonel Max Joy gave the Kohima Epitaph, and Revd Micklefield led prayers and gave the Blessing before the parade marched off to a reception at The White Hart.