Sailors parade in Portsmouth for Armed Forces Day

HMS Duncan has returned to Portsmouth after spending three months in the Mediterranean Picture:  L/Phot Louise George

HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth after three months away at sea

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Royal Navy sailors paraded in Portsmouth city centre to mark Armed Forces Day.

A total of 48 sailors from HMS Collingwood in Fareham, plus veterans and cadets led by the Royal Marines Band, marched from Edinburgh Road to Guildhall Square at 10am.

Sailors parade in Portsmouth's Guildhall Square

Sailors parade in Portsmouth's Guildhall Square

Once assembled in the square, the Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, took the salute before a ceremony with readings and flag-raising.

Commander Andy Green, the executive officer of Portsmouth Naval Base, said: ‘It is vitally important that we celebrate the armed forces in the community because it is a community thanking the armed forces for the sacrifices they’ve made over the years and the sacrifices the armed forces are making at the moment.

‘We’ve got people deployed all over the world in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and it is really important the public understands what the armed forces are doing.’

Councillor Donna Jones, the leader of Portsmouth City Council, added: ‘It is a very special event in the calendar for Portsmouth City Council and for the military because so many people from this city have given their lives over the years.

Sailors parade in Portsmouth's Guildhall Square

Sailors parade in Portsmouth's Guildhall Square

‘Today is a really important day to remember those who died for our independence.

‘I love seeing all the armed forces, including the Royal Marines Band and all of the navy on parade.’

As part of the events ahead of Armed Forces Day, a poignant step was taken towards completing Portsmouth’s Second World War memorial.

A panel was unveiled on the memorial, just off Guildhall Square, to recognise more Portsmouth people who died in the conflict.

It was unveiled by Jean Louth, who started the campaign for a permanent memorial in 1989.

Her father Harry Short will finally have his name added to the wall.

He was killed at Dunkirk.