MORE than 100 people gathered to watch the unveiling of forces memorial gardens at a moving service in South Hereford.

The result of a partnership between Hereford Veterans Support Group and Saxon Hall, the gardens honour those in Herefordshire who have served or are still serving in the armed forces.

At a service at Saxon Hall on Friday, led by Reverend Phillip Brown, from St Martin’s Church, a bugler played the Last Post and a two-minute silence was held in honour of service personnel.

Veterans gathered around the memorial garden and were joined by 'Poppy Man' – an installation representing a man covered in poppies which was loaned to Saxon Hall by Angela Pendleton.

A plaque, to honour the forces, was placed on a carved pair of hands holding a poppy, made by the stone mason at the Hereford Cathedral.

In a statement, Hereford Veterans Support Group, said: "The forces memorial garden has enabled veterans to work together to build friendships with the local community and has become a quiet respectful place of reflection.

"The ceremony allowed veterans and their families the chance to stand proud for their past service to their country, which is no mean feat as most of them suffer from combat related post-traumatic stress disorder and have little or low self-esteem."

A second service later in the day, led by Rabbis Danny Rich and Anne Gerrard, honoured Anne Frank and all the children who died as a result of war.

An Anne Frank plaque, given to Saxon Hall by Herefordshire Council, was unveiled by the Rabbi with help from children from the Hereford Academy choir. It was a fitting service as the children were all around the same age as Anne Frank when she died.

The service ended with a solo performance from a pupil from the Hereford Academy Choir, with pupils having earlier performed for those present.

Julian Brown, of Herefordshire Jewish Community, said: "In all, this was a very worthwhile occasion and shows what can be achieved through cooperation of many disparate groups and interests who have a shared vision and purpose."

Guests at the event included Vice Lord lieutenant Christopher James, mayor councillor Charles Nicholls, Lt General Sir John Foley, chairman of Herefordshire Council, Brian Wilcox, as well as members of the interfaith group, local councillors, representatives of the Hereford Academy, the Hereford Veterans Support Group and the Herefordshire Jewish Community Group.