Newark celebrates Armed Forces Day

Posted on: Monday, July 1, 2024

To mark Armed Forces Day this year, Newark hosted a military parade and event in the Royal Market and Town Hall. The event was kicked off by a performance from the RAF Cranwell Military Wives’ Choir which included a stunning rendition of “We’ll Meet Again” outside the Town Hall.

Armed Forces Day is a chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving personnel to Service families, veterans and cadets. With several hundred members of the public in attendance and over 100 military veterans and their families the event was well attended and brought together the town and its military community ranging in ages from the youngest cadets to veterans who served in the 1940s.

The Royal Market was filled with pop up bars and cafes as well as a large number of market stalls set up by military charities. Armed Forces flags and standards added to the air of vibrance and colour.

At 11:30am the military parade was led by the Royal Navy and was comprised principally of young people from the cadet sections of all 3 services and the Grimsby Sea Cadet Band. Also on parade were military veterans, the regimental associations, Royal Naval Association, Royal Air Forces Association, Royal British Legion, and all the military standards. Veronica Pickering the Lord Lieutenant inspected the parade, accompanied on the stage by Air Chief Marshall Sir Andy Pulford and Deputy Mayor Barbara Corrigan. After the speeches and parade inspection, the Armed Forces Day flag was lowered by Royal Navy veteran, Peter Wilderspin, performing a ceremonial duty he last completed in 1949.

The event was also attended by representatives from the Polish Consulate and the Polish Cultural Institute, who took time in their day to visit the Polish graves at Newark Cemetery and lay wreaths at the General Sikorski statue which was unveiled last year.

The Community Development Team at Newark and Sherwood District Council and Newark Town Council hosted a buffet lunch in the Town Hall Ballroom for over 100 veterans and their families. As well as entertainment from 1940s singer Johnny Victory, the veterans were treated to a tot of Navy rum to enjoy with their lunch.

In the marketplace the Newark and Sherwood Concert Band performed a patriotic and rousing musical set for the public to enjoy.

“It’s important we remember and honour the great contribution that our veterans, young and old, have made. Our district has one of the highest concentrations of military veterans in the country. So, by having this event in Newark we can show our support for this important community,” explained Rowan Bosworth-Brown, Armed Forces Lead at Newark and Sherwood District Council. “We are proud, as an employer, to have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and really welcome the contribution our veterans continue to make to our district every day.”

“We must also thank the Royal Naval Association who led the event, as well as the Town Council and Ministry of Defence, who worked hard to make this day a success.”