HEADS were bowed across the region yesterday morning in honour of those who died in wartime.

Thousands of people in the North-East and North Yorkshire remembered the nation's war dead as they observed the Remembrance Sunday silence at 11am.

At Durham Cathedral, a sermon was given by the Reverend Professor Douglas Davies, while The Dean of Durham, the Very Reverend Michael Sadberge, led the act of commemoration.

He said: "It is always a very moving event, and even more so because it is the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War."

After the service and a two-minute silence, crowds lined the street as members of the armed forces marched to the Market Place, backed by military bands, to lay wreaths.

The bands played wartime songs such as A Long Way To Tipperary, My Eyes Are Blind and Roll Out The Barrel, ending with The Blaydon Races.

In York, the civic party, with Mayor Janet Greenwood at the head, led the annual Act of Remembrance.

She was joined by the Queen's representative in the county, the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Crathorne, and senior members of the armed forces.

The procession started from the Eye of York, where personnel from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force were joined by veterans and representatives from the Sea Cadets, Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps, St John Ambulance, British Red Cross and Scouts and Guides.

The parade passed through Tower Street, Coney Street, Lendal and across Lendal Bridge into Leeman Road and the Memorial Gardens, led by the King's Division Waterloo Band.

Wreaths were laid at the city's cenotaph and a bugler played the last post before the procession made its way back to the Mansion House where the Lord Lieutenant, the Mayor and senior members of the services took the salute.

Similar scenes took place across the county, including in Harrogate, where a service took place at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.

In Thirsk, the service at St Mary's Church was followed by a procession to the war memorial in Sowerby for the wreath-laying, and in Leyburn, a local brass band played as the Act of Remembrance at the war memorial was followed by a service at St Matthew's Church.

In Sunderland, Prince Edward took the salute as part of his visit to the area.

In Darlington, the Royal British Legion organised a civic service of remembrance at Holy Trinity Church, in Woodland Road.

After the service, the congregation formed a parade in Vane Terrace and headed to the war memorial in the hospital grounds.

In the afternoon, a second service was held at the town's West Cemetery, by the war graves, to remember overseas soldiers who fought and died and had been buried far from their loved ones.

The service was conducted by the Reverend Chris Wardale and was followed by wreath-laying.

Mr Wardale said: "This morning's service was for us to remember our own soldiers. Now we are gathering to remember those who fought for their country and whose last resting place is far from home. We shall never forget them."

In Bishop Auckland, Wear Valley District Council chairman Eddie Murphy and MP Helen Goodman laid wreaths in the Market Place.

TV personality Pam Royle, a deputy Lieutenant of County Durham, joined 400 people at St Edmund's Church, Sedgefield, before Mayor Maxine Robinson led the wreath-laying at the war memorial.

In Spennymoor, Gurkhas from Catterick Garrison escorted a guard of honour from the Bishop Auckland Territorial Army for a parade along Cheapside from a combined service at the Town Hall to the cenotaph.

Veterans were joined by local Army, Navy and RAF cadets in Stockton for the annual Remembrance parade.

Hundreds gathered in Yarm Lane for the parade along the High Street to the cenotaph beside the parish church just before 11am, where Mayor Mick Stoker laid a wreath.

Deputy Mayor Suzanne Fletcher joined the Thornaby branch of the Royal British Legion for a parade to St Luke's Church, before going to the cenotaph on Acklam Road for wreath-laying.

St Michael's Church, in Norton, held an afternoon service, and in Billingham, there was a morning parade to the Garden of Remembrance in Station Road for prayers.

War hero and leading light of his city

A BRONZE bust of a North-East war hero was unveiled as part of Remembrance Day commemorations yesterday.

The work depicting Captain Richard Annand, the first soldier to earn the Victoria Cross in the Second World War, was revealed in the foyer of Durham Town Hall.

The bust, by North-East sculptor Paul Edward Dunn, is based on a picture of Capt Annand at a previous Remembrance Day service that appeared in the Northern Echo.

It was unveiled by his widow, Shirley Annand, who said: "I am terribly pleased and it is wonderful of the city of Durham to do this. Dick was so much a part of the city and he was here every Remembrance Day, so it is very appropriate that it should be unveiled today."

Capt Annand, who died on Christmas Eve, was awarded the VC after rescuing a wounded comrade under heavy fire during the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940. He lived in Durham after the war, becoming Deputy Lieutenant of the county.