THOUSANDS of people paid tribute in Sheffield city centre to servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
On Remembrance Sunday, they honoured the victims of war in the traditional ceremony at the cenotaph in Barkers Poool.
Past and present members of the military joined forces with the public and VIPs under slate grey skies for an impeccably observed two minutes silence at 11am.
It started with a parade along Division Street led by two police officers on horseback.
The Sheffield Citadel Salvation Army Band played as cadets representing each of the forces marched with military precision.
Then came the standard bearers, followed by the veterans. Those still able marched proudly while those in wheelchairs, too old or infirm to walk, showed equal pride.
Applause rippled from the packed crowd.
The Lord Mayor Coun Sylvia Dunkley, the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire David Moody, the Master Cutler Pam Liversidge and other dignitaries including David Blunkett MP observed from steps of the City Hall as the gathering fell silent and a maroon was fired to mark the eleventh hour.
The union flag, hanging limp in the mist, was lowered to half mast.
The two minutes silence was shattered by the firing of a further maroon. Wreaths were laid as the reveille sounded and tears flowed as the Kohima Epitaph was read: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today.”
Among the crowd was Norman Kean, aged 61, of Hackenthorpe, who served in the Royal Navy from 1966 to 1974. He said: “I came to remember all the lads and lasses who have given their lives for our freedom. When I was a member of the crew of HMS Llandaff, four mates of mine were killed in a road accident in Holland. I came to remember them, too.”
By 11.30am the ceremony was complete and the parade made its way down Leopold Street to thunderous applause.