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Black Country and Staffordshire falls silent to mark Armistice Day

The region fell silent today to honour those who lost their lives in conflict.

A man observes the Armed Forces Memorial on Armistice Day, at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas, Staffordshire
A man observes the Armed Forces Memorial on Armistice Day, at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas, Staffordshire

A two-minute silence took place across the country at 11am, marking 102 years since the first silence was observed on Armistice Day, November 11 1919.

Each year, the silence marks the end of the four-year conflict in 1918 where an agreement between Germany and the Allies was made "on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month".

Dignitaries gathered around the memorials in their towns and cities to mark the key moment – made even more poignant due to the Covid pandemic preventing people from attending services and Remembrance parades last year.

In Wolverhampton residents gathered for a service at the Trinity War Memorial on Compton Road, which is undergoing a refurbishment.

Veteran George Wright remembers the fallen
A poppy mask on show at the service in Stafford

Park ward councillor Mike Hardacre gave a speech to commemorate the lives of 22 soldiers from the Chapel Ash area who lost their lives in battle.

Prayers were led by by Deacon Linda Gilson at the service, which also featured a bugler performing The Last Post.

The memorial stands at the site of the former Trinity Wesleyan Church and was originally unveiled at a ceremony in 1920.

In Stafford Mayor Tony Nixon and former MP for the town Jeremy Lefroy were among the crowd paying their respects in a two minute silence in the Market Square.

Former Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy in Stafford
Mayor Tony Nixon at the service in Stafford

And in Dudley, a small service was held at the World War One memorial on Priory Street.

In Staffordshire, a service of remembrance took place at the National Memorial Arboretum on top of the Armed Forces Memorial, featuring readings, musical performances and wreath laying.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Defence Minister Baroness Goldie were among those at the arboretum.

Wreaths were also placed at the arboretum's national Armed Forces Memorial by Lichfield Conservative MP Michael Fabricant on behalf of Parliament, and by representatives of each of the three armed services.

People observe a two minute silence to remember the war dead on Armistice Day at the Armed Forces Memorial, at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas, Staffordshire

Around 200 veterans and family members attended the service at the memorial, which bears the names of more than 16,000 service personnel killed in the line of duty since the end of the Second World War.

Armistice Day was disrupted last year and many remembered the nation's war dead from their homes as they were encouraged to stay there to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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