July 24 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Friday, July 4, 2014
Residents came together to demonstrate their solidarity with the country’s soldiers on a day celebrating their contribution to the borough and beyond.
Hundreds of people lined the streets to mark Armed Forces Day, an annual event which recognises members of the armed forces, reserve forces and cadet forces, as well as veterans.
The occasion itself took place on Saturday but Redbridge held its own celebration on Sunday.
A veterans’ parade, led by the Honourable Artillery Company Band, began at 10.45am in High Road, Ilford, before making its way towards Redbridge Town Hall.
An inspection by the mayor, Cllr Ashley Kissin, and speeches followed.
Cllr Kissin said: “I was just very pleased with the turnout of the cadet corps and veterans, and it was good to see a big crowd supporting our armed forces – there were about 300 or 400 people there.
“It gave me great pleasure to inspect the military corps and the veterans.”
The day was particularly poignant for Cllr Kissin as his own father, Nathan, was a soldier.
He wore his medals on his mayoral gown, which include the War Medal 1939-1945, the Africa Star 8th Army Class, the Italy Star and the Defence Medal.
Nathan served with the 8th Army during the Second World War, fighting in Africa and Italy. He died in 2005.
Cllr Kissin said: “I think it is fantastic that we have a day to recognise what our current troops are doing and what our past troops have done.”
The first Armed Forces Day took place in 2009 and since events and parades have been held up and down the country every year.
Its aim is to raise awareness of the contribution our soldiers make to the country as well as provide people with an opportunity to show their support for them.