THOUSANDS of people paid their respects across Halesowen and Sandwell to the fallen during several commemorations honouring the country's war heroes.

During Saturday’s Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday there were parades throughout Halesowen, Cradley, Cradley Heath and Oldbury.

Members of the Royal British Legion were joined by unformed organisations including the Boys Brigade, Scouts, Guides, Army, RAF and Sea Cadets commemorating those who lost their lives in conflict.

The various services at churches and war memorials were also well attended.

On Saturday and Sunday, young and old stood in silence and remembered the sacrifices that servicemen and women had made throughout the centuries for their country.

Roads were closed in Halesowen and Cradley at the weekend to make sure the respective parades would go off without a hitch.

Deputy Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Alan Taylor (pictured below), was in attendance at the Halesowen service and also gave the salute to the organisations on parade.

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Halesowen North cllr Hilary Bills, who also attended the parade and service at St John’s Church, said: “It was an excellent turnout, and it was especially great to see the amount of young people who were paying their respects.

“It was standing room only in the church.

“Halesowen has always had a huge turnout on Remembrance Sunday, but in the last couple of years I think there has been more people attending year-on-year.

“Having the deputy mayor here in all his regalia adds a little something, as we always complain Dudley gets preferential treatment, so it’s always nice to see a bit of recognition for Halesowen.

“Cllr Taylor giving the salute to the parade was a lovely touch.”

Mayor of Dudley, Cllr Dave Tyler, who attended the event at Dudley war memorial, said: “It has been a privilege to lead our commemorations to honour the fallen and remember the sacrifices they made to protect future generations.

“We have also had time to reflect on the contribution of our army, navy, air force veterans and those men and women who continue to serve in our Armed Forces today.

“We owe them our freedom and I would like to thank everyone who showed their support and pay their respects.”

On Friday, Humpty Dumpty's Day Nursery in Blackheath took small groups of children on a Remembrance march through the town centre.

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Humpty Dumpty's Day Nursery youngsters Maisie Parkes, two, Benjamin Dyoss, two, Ellie Woodbine, three, Connor Parkes, three, and Jaiden Gibbs, three, with staff members Gemma Davies and Alex Raddon.

Staff at the nursery discussed with the children about the importance of Remembrance Day and why we wear poppies.

The children also helped to make a wreath using their handprints, which has been placed at the war memorial at Central Methodist Church in Blackheath, and while they were at the church the youngsters held a minutes silence and said a prayer for the fallen heroes.

A festival of remembrance and annual concert was held at the Salvation Army Hall in Cradley Heath on Armistice Day, with proceeds being donated to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Halesowen News:

Including a performance by Voices In Harmony Choir and the Remembrance Band, the evening started with the colours of the RBL, armed forces and local Brownies, Guides, Scouts and Boys Brigade groups being presented to the Deputy Mayor of Sandwell, Cllr Susan Eaves.

The concert, held in front of a capacity audience and attended by MP James Morris, then led into the service of remembrance held by Major Joy Stephenson of the Salvation Army.

Little Colliers Nursery in Cradley also raised money for the Poppy Appeal this remembrance during a sponsored walk to St Peter’s Church.

Halesowen News:

Children and their parents raised £185 for the RBL, and they also created their own poppy wreath and had a minutes silence when they reached the church.