Slideshow: Remembrance Day

PUBLISHED: 16:07 10 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

HUNDREDS of people gathered at war memorials across the district on to remember the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in war. Remembrance Day brought back poignant memories of fallen comrades for Ernie Brewer, a veteran of the D-Day Normandy landin

HUNDREDS of people gathered at war memorials across the district on to remember the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in war.

Remembrance Day brought back poignant memories of fallen comrades for Ernie Brewer, a veteran of the D-Day Normandy landings in June 1944.

He was one of the wreath-layers at a service at the Cenotaph in St Peter's Street, St Albans.

Ernie, now aged 83, of Willow Way, Radlett, joined the army as a gunner in the Royal Horse Artillery just before his 19th birthday and is now chairman of the St Albans branch of the Normandy Veterans Association.

He said: "The service never really gets to me until they play The Last Post when I think of my closest friends who died as we fought our way across Europe.

"It also never fails to remind me of bringing blankets and medicine into Belsen. The sights I saw there haunt me still and give me nightmares."

He claims he and his colleagues never speak of those dark days so the Remembrance Day service is their way of honouring their fallen comrades.

Among the many wreaths laid on the day included those of St Albans MP Anne Main, the Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Bert Pawle, and HMS St Albans Commander Adrian Pierce.

The service conducted by Archdeacon Jonathan Smith included a two-minute silence and the march past was accompanied by music from the Salvation Army band.

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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