Town salutes Armed Forces Day parade

Town salutes Armed Forces Day parade

by Tom Martin (June 2022)

THERE was an impressive turn-out on Sunday  to mark this year’s Armed Forces Day in Southport town centre.

Local Veterans from SSAFA Sefton (The Armed Forces Charity) based at RAF Woodvale held the event on June 26, which included an array of historic military vehicles along Lord Street, military bands and a parade which made its way from Chapel Street, down London Street and along Lord Street. 

A number of dignitaries were on hand to take the salute on the steps of Southport Town Hall including Mayor of Sefton Cllr Clare Carragher, Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside Mark Blundell, Southport MP Damien Moore, Bootle MP Peter Dowd, Southport Royal British Legion Chair Nick McEntee and others in front of Southport Town Hall. 

Mr Moore said: “It was good to see another excellent Armed Forces Day in Southport that was so well attended.

“Our serving service men and women as well as veterans deserve our recognition and support for all the great work they do, and all they have given to our country. 

“It was also a pleasure to meet with cadet forces and charities as well as members of the public who were there to show their support.” 

Serving Armed Forces personnel, Cadets from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and veterans of all eras were present at the parade. 

They included 99-year-old former Royal Marine Richard Howard, who served during World War Two. 

His daughter, Carol Jamieson, said: “My dad will be 100 in October. He really enjoyed it at Armed Forces Day in Southport.

“He was in the Royal Marines and spent a lot of time in Italy and Singapore.” 

Information stalls were present for organisations including Southport Royal British Legion and SSAFA, while firefighters from Southport Community Fire Station were on hand to show excited children their fire engine. 

Guests were due to be treated to a flypast from Squadron Leader Mark Long flying a Hurricane Mk IIC PZ865 - the very last Hurricane ever built - but unfortunately the flight had to be cancelled due to strong winds. 

Starting the event off was a Drumhead Service at 11am in the Town Hall Gardens.

The Southport Armed Forces Day Parade then began at 11.30am on Chapel Street, with marchers taking the salute at Southport Town Hall.

A number of road closures were in place in Southport town centre, with the Southport Half Marathon having taken place earlier on the same day.

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