THE York Festival of Remembrance is back again after a year's absence because of the Covid pandemic.

Serving and retired representatives of all three military services gathered at the Central Methodist Church in St Saviourgate, York, to remember those who had made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Together with the congregation, they also marked the the 100th anniversary of both the York section of the Royal British Legion and its parent organisation, and the 100th anniversary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Branch chairman Mark Hogan was delighted that the annual service could go ahead after last year's cancellation.

Covid uncertainty meant that the usual many months' preparation was condensed into weeks.

Producer Sandra Dunleavy said: "It is so important for York. Where there's a will, there's a way."

She had to find a venue and musicians.

Generation Groove Band and the associated Community Chorus had just five rehearsals each to prepare 10 pieces of music for the musicians, plus community singing.

They didn't hesitate to take on the challenge because of their long involvement with the event.

Musical director Diane Beal said: "We've got to do this"

In the presence of the York Civic Party, headed by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Chris Cullwick and Lt Col Matthew Jones, 2 Signal Regiment , Imphal Barracks, and WO1 (RSM) Jason Shone, the event began with the entry of the standards of four military associations.

Deacon Judith Stoddart of York Methodists led the service which included the Last Post played by Malcolm Watson and the Act of Remembrance.

All military representatives past and present all spoke of the importance of the service.