Armed Forces Day in Banbury a stirring tribute


Today’s armed forces joined cadets and veterans in a parade, which culminated in a drum head service

Armed Forces Day in Banbury on Saturday was a stirring tribute to services personnel past, present and future.

An exciting programme of military-style entertainment – including parades, displays, demonstrations and a collection of war-time vehicles – attracted visitors young and old.

A flypast by a second world war Hurricane fighter plane was cancelled mid-morning because of poor weather in other parts of the country, but there was no shortage of things to do and see.

Members of today’s armed forces joined cadets and veterans in a parade through the town’s old streets, ending in Bridge Street where a salute was taken by mayor Jayne Strangwood, Banbury’s High Steward Sir Tony Baldry and chair of Oxfordshire County Council Susanna Pressel.

The parade was led by The Shires Royal British Legion Youth Band.

A drumhead service in the Market Place demonstrated how troops held religious ceremonies on battlefields using drums draped with regimental flags as makeshift altars. The service was conducted by Padre Charles Lewis, chaplain to the Thames Valley Air Training Corps.

Hundreds of onlookers watched in silence as prayers were said and hymns were sung.

Sir Tony Baldry said: “Armed Forces Day reminds us of those who through two world wars and numerous conflicts have served the country and given their lives.  

“Its also an opportunity to pay tribute to, and thank, those who serve in the armed forces today, and in a town like Banbury for recognising and thanking those who have given valuable service, either in the Territorial Army reserves – the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars are based here in Banbury – and the cadet units in the town.

“Its an opportunity to give thanks, but also to celebrate our armed forces.”

Armed Forces Day was organised by Banbury Town Council.

Council leader and president of the Banbury branch of the Royal British Legion Kieron Mallon said: “Armed Forces Day is an important annual event that honours the town’s historical and ongoing links with the military.

“It is always very special to see so many members of the public turn out to be part of the event.

“This year was another very wonderful day.”

Click any picture to see a larger version:

Pictures by Banbury FM and Julian Dancer

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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