Remembrance Day: Veteran 'humbled' to remember fallen friends

Stan Ford on the platform of Bath Railway station. He is wearing his cap and jacket with war medals
Stan Ford was serving on a ship when it was torpedoed

A 98-year-old veteran says he was "humbled" to remember his fallen friends for another year.

Stan Ford, from Bath, served in Normandy during World War Two and is one of the last surviving soldiers from his troop.

He was part of a group of veterans who gathered in Bath to send off wreaths on a train to be laid in London.

Mr Ford said many friends in his troop had "made the ultimate sacrifice".

Great Western Railway (GWR) began providing trains in 2020 to collect wreaths from every mainline station across the south-west of England and transport them to London Paddington.

'I still remember'

The wreaths are then laid at the foot of The Unknown Soldier statue at Paddington Station.

"I remember all the friends I lost on my ship, so this is something I look forward to every year to pay my respects," said Mr Ford.

"I'm so fortunate that I survived. My ship was torpedoed and I suffered terrific injuries.

"It does sort of fade into history a bit, but I still remember," he said.

Martin Weathers wearing his cap and medals standing at Bath Railway station
Martin Weathers fought in The Gulf War

Martin Weathers, of the Veterans Charity in Bath, said the event was not just an important opportunity for veterans to remember their fallen comrades, but also to teach the younger generation about its importance.

"Although our military services do train for war, it's something nobody ever wants to happen," Mr Weathers said.

"We have to remember those who have gone before.

"When you have that strong bond of brotherhood with people who you've served with, who've looked after you and you've looked after them, it's an unbreakable bond.

"It's not only friendship, but family," he continued.

A birds eye view from above the Unknown soldier statue at London Paddington. There are poppy wreaths on the ground.
Many people gathered to lay wreaths at the foot of the statue at London Paddington

Around 12 poppy wreaths were put on the train from Bath Railway Station, and met with around 300 more at London Paddington.

Many people gathered to pay their respects while a bugler played The Last Post and Reveille, songs associated with fallen soldiers and mourning those lost in battle.

Follow BBC West on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: