Annual parade will be a chance to say goodbye to troops

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IT IS a day when soldiers, veterans, and the community stand side by side in a patriotic show of support for those who fought and died in conflicts.

And this year, St George’s Day will again be celebrated in Emsworth with a parade through the square. It is the sixth year the parade has been held and it is expected to be bigger than ever.

Organised by Emsworth councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray, hundreds of people from across the area are expected to line the streets for what will be the last parade in Emsworth for 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, from Thorney Island, because they are moving to Larkhill, in Wiltshire.

This year is also special because it marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

Cllr Gibb-Gray said: ‘The preparations are going very well.

‘We will have music from 9.30am and the parade will start at 10.15am.

‘It will be an opportunity for people locally to say thank you to the military and also an opportunity for them to donate to SSAFA.

‘And 47 Regiment are leaving the area so it’s a chance to say goodbye and thank them for what they have done, and show our appreciation.’

The Rifles band will lead the parade and the George Regis Jazz Band will welcome the visitors to the square in the morning.

Korean War veteran Norman Davies, from Horndean, is in charge of the veterans parade and he is urgently looking for people who would like to take part.

He said: ‘This year, as in the past five years, I have the honour of organising veterans of these past conflicts to parade at Emsworth.

‘It is difficult to contact veterans individually, so I hope to remind people of the sacrifices that were made in these conflicts and to invite veterans to take part in the parade.

‘During the parade veterans will be presented with the Emsworth Rose.

‘After the parade, veterans have been invited back to 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, on Thorney Island, for a buffet lunch.

‘It is a great opportunity for veterans to mix with the soldiers of today and swap yarns.’

Should any veteran of any conflict be interested in attending the parade please contact Mr Davies on (023) 9259 8970 or email dunslaire31@outlook.com.

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