A celebration to show appreciation for Armed Forces

Armed Forces Day 2017 in Alexandra Park, Hastings. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-170626-061154001
Armed Forces Day 2017 in Alexandra Park, Hastings. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-170626-061154001

A local celebration to show appreciation of the work of the Armed Forces is to be held in Alexandra Park on Sunday, June 24, hosted by the Hastings & St Leonards Veterans Association.

There will be a parade and drum-head service of remembrance at 10am before Air Marshal Christopher Nickols CB, CBE, Mar FRAeS Dl takes the salute at a parade of veterans, cadet units and youth organisations led by the 17th Tonbridge Scout and Guide Band.

This free event is being held as part of Armed Forces Day, the annual national campaign that gives everyone the opportunity to show their support for the men and women of our armed forces past and present.

During the local celebration, the Coastal Twirlers, Hollington Gymnasts and the 17th Tonbridge Scout and Guide band will entertain crowds in the arena and the local cadet units will be displaying their military skills. The day will end with a ‘Sunset’ Ceremony and lowering of the union flag at 3.45pm.

Air Marshal Christopher Mark Nickols CB CBE MA FRAeSDL is a retired senior officer in the Royal Air Force, whose final appointment was Chief of Defence Intelligence. Before then he served as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations).

Nickols joined the Royal Air Force in 1974. He served as a pilot, flying Jaguars in Germany for nine years before becoming Officer Commanding No. 2 Squadron in 1993.

He was appointed Director of the UK Combined Air Operations Centre in 1997, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff at Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood during the Kosovo War and then Station Commander at RAF Lossiemouth in 2000.