Armed Forces Day celebrated at tribute events

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THOUSANDS of people showed their support for servicemen and women by getting behind tribute events.

As a part of Armed Forces Day many turned out at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to greet those who have fought for the nation.

Throughout the dockyard veterans and cadets wandered around and enjoyed tea at the Veterans Tea Tent run by the Georgian Tearooms,

They included ex-serviceman George Hunt, 82, from Southsea.

He said: ‘I come here every year for Armed Forces day to meet other ex-servicemen which is special to me.’

Many were thrilled to meet members of the armed forces at the dockyard to thank them for their bravery.

Debbie Suffield, 35, from Southsea said: ‘We should be proud of our history and our forces.’

‘Many of the servicemen from World War Two will not be around soon so their stories should be told.’

The old and the young visited the attraction to enjoy the variety of music that was on offer including Rose & Thistle Pipe Band and the RM School of Music.

As a part of the event the Mexican Tall Ship ARM Cuauhtémoc was allowing visitors to board the ship and talk to the sailors on board.

Head of public events Roger Sheppard said: ‘It was a coincidence that the ship is here as part of our Armed Forces weekend but the ship’s company were very keen for the public to see it.’

Also on show was a variety of vintage jeeps from World War Two with an array of items on display to tell tales of wartime.

Youngsters, teachers and their families also came together at Gomer Junior School, Gosport to support military families.

Organised by Friends of Gomer Junior School the event followed a services lunch that was held at the school earlier in the week.

Chair of FROGJS Elodie Gardner said: ‘Being in this part of the country we have a lot of services families - about 30 children in the school have a parent in the forces.

‘We wanted to show that we support them as sometimes service families do need a little bit more support.’

At the military recognition show parents rallied together to compete in a tug of war competition.

‘We also had Chelsea Football Club here who are the people that run our after school club teaching the pupils football skills,’ said headteacher Georgia Mulhall.

The proceeds from event have helped the school buy a bike shed for the playground.