BRILLIANT autumn sunshine brought huge numbers out for Portland’s Service of Remembrance.

It is thought that more than 400 people, one of the biggest crowds yet, gathered at the war memorial at the Heights for the Portland Royal British Legion service.

Young and old stood side by side to remember and honour the fallen.

The service was led by the Portland RBL president and chaplain, the Rev Eric Mitchell, assisted by the Rector of Portland Parish, the Rev Tim Gomm.

Standards of the Portland RBL men’s and women’s sections, Portland Royal Naval Association and the island’s youth organisations flanked the memorial and the wreath-laying was led by Mayor of Portland Sylvia Bradley.

Weymouth Concert Brass provided the music.

Coun Bradley said: “It was a lovely service, there was a very good turnout – the good Lord was on our side weather-wise.”

The wreath she placed at the Portland memorial was one of three she laid over the weekend. Later in the day, she laid a wreath at the American memorial in Victoria Square and on Friday, she attended a service in Grevenbicht, Holland, where her uncle died in the Second World War.

Parade Marshall for the Portland service Charles Thomson, one of the longest-serving Royal Navy servicemen with more than 40 years in the force, said it was a ‘fantastic’ turnout.

Mr Thomson, 80, life-president of the Portland Royal Naval Association, said: “The weather was beautiful with clear blue skies and sunshine and there were so many people, it was unbelievable.

“We are usually affected by high winds being on the top there, and sometimes rain, but it was a lovely day.

“It was wonderful to see so many young people there, local cubs and scouts, the St John Ambulance and their young ones, the Army and Sea Cadets. Their parents should be exceedingly proud of them.”

Mr Thompson said his only gripe was the fact the main road isn’t closed by the police, so the noise of car engines doesn’t interfere with the two-minute silence.

“Two minutes a year for a life is not a lot to ask. We would like to see people pull their cars over during this short time,” he said.