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Thousands turn out for town’s Armed Forces Day celebration

PUBLISHED: 17:24 30 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 03 July 2018

The Band of the Irish Guards perform on Armed Forces Day in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

The Band of the Irish Guards perform on Armed Forces Day in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

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Military heroes of past, present and future were saluted as a town came together to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Thousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Mick HowesThousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Mick Howes

In what was Lowestoft’s 13th event for the national celebration, thousands turned out at Royal Green for a day of family fun, fascinating displays and poignant tributes to the fallen.

The Salvation Army Band and City of Norwich Pipe Band kept the audience entertained with a brilliant soundtrack, while there was music from the Band of the Irish Guards, who recently played at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

Thousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Mick HowesThousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Mick Howes

Military vehicles were paraded around the centre of the green and the static spitfire from Simply Spitfire was also on display.

Speaking at the event, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “Armed Forces Day is something Lowestoft does incredibly well. We’ve got the natural setting for it on Royal Green and, year after year, the community turn out in their masses.

The Band of the Irish Guards perform on Armed Forces Day in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesThe Band of the Irish Guards perform on Armed Forces Day in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

“This event is now very much embedded in the national calendar and gives us an opportunity to reflect on the service that so many have given - and are continuing to give at the moment.

“Whether it’s just for a few minutes or a couple of hours, it’s appropriate for us to come together and pay respect.”

Thousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Mick HowesThousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Mick Howes

Victoria Schofield, area manager for Cottages.com who volunteer to organise the event, added: “The day was absolutely incredible and I’m astounded by the turnout from the town.

“If we can put our little part of the world on the map by hosting one of the biggest Armed Forces Day celebrations in the country, then I think that’s amazing.”

Thousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas ChapmanThousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas Chapman

Charities dedicated to providing support for servicemen and women were out in force on the green throughout the day, providing a place for people to stop and have a friendly, informal chat.

Among them was the Lowestoft and District branch of the Royal British Legion, whose chairman Phil Turner highlighted the significance of Armed Forces Day for military personnel.

Thousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas ChapmanThousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas Chapman

“It’s so important to remember what’s happened in the past as well as considering the current and future generations that are going to join the forces - we want to let them know there are people there for them.

“I’m not personally ex-services but I do the job because I believe in what the Royal British Legion do.”

Thousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas ChapmanThousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas Chapman

Thousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas ChapmanThousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas Chapman

Thousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas ChapmanThousands gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate Armed Forces Day. Picture: Thomas Chapman


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