REMEMBRANCE Day parades took place across Monmouthshire and Caerphilly yesterday, culminating in around 100 people braving the cold to pay their respects at a sunset service in Caldicot on Sunday evening.

Veterans, families, politicians and cadets were among those to lay wreaths at the war memorial during the service.

The service was led by Rev Preben Andersen.

After a number of hymns and songs, everyone in attendance turned to face the standard of the Royal British Legion as it was lowered.

During the service, town mayor Cllr Phil Stevens read out the names of the local men who gave their lives in conflicts stretching right across the 20th century.

Speaking afterwards, he said he was encouraged by the crowds which he said was “significantly larger” than last year.

Both Jessica Morden and John Griffiths, MP and AM for Newport East respectively, also reserved praise for their constituents while stressing the importance of remembrance, particularly amongst the younger generation.

Earlier in the day in Chepstow residents turned out in their droves to line the town’s high street for their parade.

Starting at Welsh Street car park, the procession moved down into Beaufort Square where wreaths were laid at the war memorial.

Chepstow town mayor Cllr Dale Rooke said: “It’s something that I’m always blown away by, the fact that we get crowds at every single service whether its Anzac Day or Remembrance Sunday.”

“The service was extremely well attended which is something we do very well in Chepstow, so I take my hat off to everyone in the community that support these services.”

A service at St Mary’s Church followed.

In Abergavenny, the town’s Remembrance service was once again lead by Canon Mark Soady, of St Mary’s Priory.

He reminded those gathered at the service that the two minutes’ silence was introduced by King George V.

“One minute was a time of thanksgiving for those who had returned alive, the second minute was to remember the fallen,” he said.

“So it is right that we remember both groups as we gather here today.”

Speaking of risk that our service personal take he added: “No soldier, sailor or airman goes out of his or her way to loose their life, they often put themselves at risk with out thinking of the consequences. In that moment, in that split second they act on impulse, their training kicks in, they do what they feel is right.

“As we stand here today and remember those who have made the sacrifice, and especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

In Magor hundreds of people lined all sides of Magor Square for Remembrance Sunday to remember and honour villagers who served, or died while serving, in conflict.

Such sacrifice was not lost on the younger generation, with members of local Rainbows, Guides, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts acting as standard bearers.

Lampposts and buildings in the square had been decorated with large poppies, the handiwork of of Julie Wilson of the Royal British Legion, in the lead-up to the event.

Many in attendance were also wearing one of thousands of crocheted poppies made by Mrs Wilson as part of the Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Representatives from around 20 local community groups and both the town and county council laid individual wreaths at the village’s war memorial.

Despite the inclement weather the monument stood against out against it having been cleaned, repaired and its railings given a new lick of paint last month.

The service was led by the Rev Jeremy Harris and Baptist minister Linda Crebbin, and was attended by Christopher Freegard OBE, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Gwent.

After thanking the crowds for attending on behalf of the Queen, he said: “I am really heartened to see so many people here to today. There are many more than I think we would have seen 20 years ago. We rely as always on the courage and professionalism of our forces in order to protect our freedom and way of life.”

Peter Wilson, chair of the Caldicot and District branch of the Royal British Legion, revealed that the branch had raised an impressive £39,000.

He said: “This is an amazing total for a small rural area and we must give our thanks for the support and contributions.”

The Serenata Ladies Choir performed at the end of the service before the crowds headed to services at either St Mary’s Church or Magor Baptist Church.

This year’s remembrance parade in Usk was described as being “better than ever”.

The event saw members of the public line the streets to see the parade leave from the Royal British Legion Club in Old Market Street and pass through the Monmouthshire town before paying respects at the war memorial.

Among attendees were MP David Davies and his Assembly counterpart Nick Ramsay, as well as deputy lord lieutenant for Gwent Gerald Davies and the town’s mayor Glenn Roderick.

Royal British Legion committee member Marie Skillen said the event had been one of the most well-attended the town had ever seen.

“It went very well,” she said. “It was standing room only - one of the most well represented parades we’ve had. It was better this year than ever.”

Among groups marching in the parade were representatives of a number of regiments, members of scouting groups and four groups of air cadets.

Gilwern was among the other places in the borough which also hosted an event.