Remembering the fallen in Forces’ parade

Armed Forces Day in Alexandra Park. Picture by Frank Copper
Armed Forces Day in Alexandra Park. Picture by Frank Copper

VETERANS, serving soldiers and dignitaries assembled in Alexandra Park last Sunday (June 30) for the annual Armed Forces Day parade.

Members of Hastings and St Leonards Veterans’ Association, the Mayor Alan Roberts, Deputy Mayor Bruce Dowling, and the town’s MP Amber Rudd joined cadets from the Sea Cadet corps, RAF and Army at the event.

They met at the park’s main entrance before marching to the main area of the park by the bandstand.

Once there, Reverend Robert Featherstone, of All Saints’ Church, conducted a service to remember all those who fell in both world wars and to reflect on those troops currently serving in present-day war zones such as Afghanistan.

Other standard bearers, Scouts and Girl Guides also marched alongside veterans, as did two of the county’s Deputy Lord Lieutenants, namely Michael Foster, ex-Hastings MP, and Major General John Moore-Bick CBE DL.

During the service The Last Post was played to remember those who had fallen in past conflicts.

Following the event there was entertainment by the Acromax gymnastics group, Section 5 Drummers, 1066 Pipes and Drums, Hastings Coastal Twirlers and singing from All Aloud Choir for the crowds.

Other activities included stalls, a bouncy castle for children, and an array of classic military vehicles on display.

The Elphinstone Sports and Social Club in Elphinstone Road also held an Armed Forces Day event last Saturday (June 29).

There were stalls, a bouncy castle, face painting, barbecue, gigantic raffle, and a 50s and 60s disco.

Veterans also marched to pipes and drums.

Stuart Murphy, vice-chairman of Hastings and St Leonards Veterans’ Association, who served in the Republic of Ireland’s Permanent Defence Forces from 1987 to 1992, said: “There was quite a crowd on Sunday. We had a little cenotaph provided by the Royal British Legion on the day where a small wreath was lain during the service.”