Portsmouth parade for Armed Forces Day

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Marching proudly through the city centre, more than 100 servicemen and women took part in a parade to mark Armed Forces Day.

To the sound of applause from the public, 120 sailors paraded through Portsmouth today.

27/06/13  SB''Members of the armed forces take part in the Armed Forces Day parade through Portsmouth to Guildhall Square, culminating in a ceremony which saw Arctic Convoy veterans receive their Arctic Star medals. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (131808-1)

27/06/13 SB''Members of the armed forces take part in the Armed Forces Day parade through Portsmouth to Guildhall Square, culminating in a ceremony which saw Arctic Convoy veterans receive their Arctic Star medals. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131808-1)

They were led by the Portsmouth Royal Marines Band and joined by their colleagues from the Army and Royal Air Force.

The parade, the first of its kind in the city, was organised by Portsmouth City Council, to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

Commodore Jeremy Rigby, the commander of Portsmouth Naval Base, told The News: ‘It was good to see so many members of the public in Guildhall Square supporting the armed forces.

‘There was a great continuity in that we had cadets, serving personnel and veterans all on parade.

‘It’s nice to do something for the people of Portsmouth as a way to thank them for all their support.’

Once the Royal Marines band and platoons were in position, Rear-Admiral John Lang, Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral David Steel, and the Lord Mayor Councillor Lynne Stagg inspected the parade.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Today has been the first time we’ve done a parade for the armed forces here in the city, to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

‘I think it’s really important we do this to make sure we are absolutely clear that Portsmouth is the home of the Royal Navy and to celebrate what current service people do, those are here in the city but also those on deployment and on ships around the world.’

Joseph Oldfield, 15, of Paignton Avenue in Copnor, is a cadet sergeant with the Royal Marines Cadet Corps.

He said: ‘I thought the parade was really good.

‘Hopefully next time it won’t be on a school day so more cadets can come along.

‘The parade was a brilliant idea.’

Celebrations to continue this weekend

Celebrations of Armed Forces Day are due to continue with a massive event in Portsmouth’s naval base this weekend.

The Royal Navy and Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard will put on events over this weekend to mark the day.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender and Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster will open to visitors each day from 10am until 4pm.

The navy will also host firefighting demonstrations on both days from 10.30am.

Youngsters will have the chance to take on sailors and Royal Marines at various games in the dockyard’s Action Stations.

Click here to see how a seagull caused a spot of bother at today’s parade