A SERVICE has been held in York to remember the sacrifice made by war heroes of the railways.

Ex-military personnel gathered at the North Eastern Railway Memorial cenotaph in Station Rise today to honour rail workers who died in both world wars.

They were joined by representatives of the British Transport Police, National Railway Museum, the Royal British Legion and train operating companies.

Wreaths were laid at the monument during a poignant service, which was led by railway chaplain Rev Angela Levitt-Harwood, ahead of Remembrance Day on Sunday.

About 25,000 railway employees died in the two world wars, including more than 2,200 on the North Eastern Railway in the First World War and more than 500 London North Eastern Railway workers in the Second World War.

Shaun Houldridge, chairman of the British Railways Ex-servicemen's Association, which organised the service, said: "The attendance was very good, one of the best I have seen.

"The reason we need to keep this going is because we are the custodians of their memory and what they did. These are people who worked, lived and had family in the York region."

Normandy veteran Ken Smith, 93, from Wheldrake, was also in attendance. He said: "I have always attended this service for many years.

"It was quite a good attendance this year."

He added: "I commemorate and remember civilians and servicemen and women no matter when and where."

City of York Council will honour the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War by supporting the different citywide services of commemoration on Sunday.

To begin the centenary commemorations, Piper Higgins will play Battle’s O’er at 6am, on the steps of the Mansion House escorted by the Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Keith Orrell.

Services of remembrance will be held throughout York on Sunday, with a special service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration at York Minster at 9.30am with words from The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

This will precede the annual parade through York for the Service of Remembrance in the City Memorial Gardens at 11am where a minute’s silence will be observed before the final names are read from the King’s Book of York Heroes by The Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Orrell.

Other memorial events in York on Sunday include a community act of remembrance at the newly refurbished war memorial on Acomb Green at 10.45am.

At Haxby Memorial Hall there will be a multi-media event between 2pm and 6pm to mark the centenary.

Guests will be able to experience period film and music, an archive display and activities for young people, with light refreshments being served.

A concert of remembrance will be held at The Church of St Mary, Bishophill Junior at 5pm with choral music and readings on the lives of Bishophill military and civil personnel lost during the First World War.

St Lawrence Church will also be hosting a musical nod to the armistice, with an evensong led by students of St Lawrence Parish Church in honour of the centenary at 6pm.

The children will also be creating a lantern for each of the 158 soldiers who are named on St Lawrence's memorial. The lanterns will light up the churchyard from 6pm.

Between 6.30pm and 7.30pm Battle’s Over: A Poppleton Tribute 100 Years of Remembrance will take place on Poppleton Green, with a band, choir and bugler.

St Olave’s, Marygate Lane, is planning a service of music and readings at 7pm, including Mozart’s Requiem.

There will also be services in Elvington. A parade of scouts, cubs, guides and brownies will march with the scout band from the centre of the village at 10.30am to the Yorkshire Air Museum for a service at 11am.

Rawcliffe Parish Council is lighting beacons of light, a tribute to the end of the First World War between 6.15pm and 8pm.