Armistice Day: Trafalgar Square fills to remember the fallen

Image caption Kevin Russell said he was "proud to have served" as a medic in the armed forces

Kevin Russell saw things during his time in the Royal Army Medical Corps that he will never forget.

The 36-year old came to the Silence in the Square event in Trafalgar Square, London, to "be with people who can understand what I've been through".

A veteran of tours in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, where he treated soldiers wounded by bullets and explosions, the ex-medic from Langdon Hills, Basildon, says gathering on Remembrance Day with others who have shared similar experiences gave him "peace of mind".

"I feel very proud to have served and that my contribution made a difference," he added.

Image caption Veteran Raymond Champion attended the Silence in the Square event

Many hundreds came together for the central London occasion organised by the Royal British Legion, held under cloudy skies that nevertheless held firm against the rain.

Some tears did fall, however, from members of the public as they listened to war poems and watched videos about battle-scarred soldiers on big screens next to the stage.

Musical performances came from London Community Gospel Choir, folk artist Seth Lakeman, and the all-male Overtones group - who sang their first track a capella after their backing tape failed to crank into life.

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Image caption People were invited to throw poppies into fountains at Trafalgar Square after the Royal British Legion event

Actor and Parachute Regiment veteran Bernard Cribbins read Tommy by Rudyard Kipling, a poem about a British soldier's place in society which he told the crowd was "written in 1890 and still relevant today".

A sombre stillness filled the air during the two minutes' silence, when this part of central London fell so silent only the cries of hovering seagulls could be heard.

London veteran Raymond Champion, 79, served in the Army Catering Corps in World War Two and said he wore his father's medals to the event to "honour his memory".

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Image caption Folk artist Seth Lakeman performed against a backdrop of falling red petals

"I knew people who never came home," he said. "People forget, they don't know what they are letting go. They should respect the people that fought for their freedoms."

Mr Champion's father and brother served overseas in World War Two, with his father also fighting in World War One.

"Ours was a good surname to have when my father and brothers made it home," he said.

University student Jade Cadhim, 22, from London, agreed remembrance "is as relevant today as it was then".

"My dad served in the RAF and my friends' relatives didn't come home, so it's important to remember all the people who gave their lives for our freedoms now," she said.

Image caption Gloria Parker, leader of the Ruislip Red Hatters group who went to the central London event

Gloria Parker, 73, came to pay her respects along with other retired ladies in their social group, the Ruislip Red Hatters.

"It's important to keep on remembering, we all had relatives who fought then, and now still.

"There's a lot of work to be done still, I saw a lot of people that haven't got a poppy - lest we forget," she said.

As events drew to a close, a carpet of red paper poppies was thrown into the square's fountain waters by members of the public paying their respects - each taking their own reflections of the day back into the bustling capital.

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Image caption The two minutes' silence was observed by John Hellewell in Trafalgar Square

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