National Memorial Arboretum welcomed Royal guest for Armistice Day sevice

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Hundreds gathered to pay their respects as Princess Anne led Armistice Day remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Around 400 guests were invited to reflect with pride for those who have fallen serving their country.

At precisely 10.19am, crowds began to fill up the seats set up for the annual Armistice Day service.

The Royal Artillery band took centre stage to begin the ceremonial welcome, accompanied by The Lichfield Cathedral Chamber choir.

Guests taking time to remember those who have fallen.

Guests taking time to remember those who have fallen

The day was made even more special with the presence of Princess Anne who arrived 10 minutes early to pay her respects.

As the clock struck 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, during the minute of silence a ray of sunshine peaked through the clouds to illuminate the centre of the memorial.

The wreath-laying began with Princess Anne placing poppies down onto the centre stone.

Among the guests were many veterans who came to commemorate those who fought beside them and to remember their own stories.

A retired veteran who fought in the Falklands war, Kenneth Davies, 51, said: “It’s important to remember those who we’ve lost.

“Fought for us to give us our freedom.”

The commemorations continued with a march through the grounds of the Arboretum with Princess Anne leading the salute.

Soldiers salute Princess Anne in Armistice day march

Soldiers salute Princess Anne in Armistice day march

Oliver Sadler, 17, a cadet with the 351 Burton squadron, said: “It’s important to remember the sacrifices they’ve made.”

Many use the arboretum to feel close to their loved ones and as a place to reflect on the sacrifices they made.

The arboretum will be closing for a year after today for refurbishments but there will be other memorials in the 52 acre site where guests can pay their respects all year.

Watch Staffslive’s special video report, below:

(Additional reporting by Laura O’Callaghan)

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