Sidmouth has paid tribute to British servicemen lost on the other side of the world between 1950 and 1953.

On Thursday, July 27, a short service was held, presided over by Rev Matt Selman and Woolbrook’s curate Sarah Mounoury - herself a RN vet. The Town Council Chairman Chris Lockyear spoke on behalf of the civic authority, whilst Royal British Legion president Ralph Hickman and the Royal Naval Old Comrades chairman Peter O’Brien made speeches from the heart about the sacrifices made in a war that, today, most citizens know nothing of. Ex-RAF-man John Greenaway recited appropriate verses, whilst Fiona Harvey played the Last Post and National Anthem with her customary panache.

The King’s colours were carried by John Hayes, the RNOCA standard by Mike Dance and the Merchant Navy’s by Bruce Roberts.

The service was attended by two dozen townspeople and holiday-makers, including former National Servicemen sent to South Korea post-hostilities, Ray Collins and Dougie Farrant. Over a pint in The Anchor afterwards Ray said: “That was a splendid service, and I am so glad that this was done." These words were echoed by Dougie who said: “I really appreciate the trouble that people have gone to mark this anniversary, it means a lot to me that all these years later, these boys are being remembered."

Ralph Hickman said: “Across the nation today, branches of the Royal British Legion have organised similar services. I must thank Reverend Matt and Sarah for their time and good grace, and of course Chris Lockyear, who is always supportive of these events, and Fiona for her splendid playing as usual.

"Thank you too to the people who turned out to pay tribute, and to those who were gracious enough to pay respects as they passed by."

RNOCA chairman Peter O’Brien said: “We are always happy to support our friends in the RBL, and I echo Ralph’s thanks to all who participated. The Korean War was a horrible challenge for the infantry and support arms on the ground. The RN had a somewhat easier time in this conflict, but the winter weather was really atrocious. We remember them all, Army, Navy, Air Force and the Merchant Navy who carried them there, and back again.”