Sailors getting ready for big parade for Queen’s Jubilee

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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SAILORS, submariners and Royal Marines have been pounding the parade square at Longmoor Camp, near Petersfield, ahead of a huge armed forces parade in front of the Queen tomorrow.

More than 560 Royal Navy personnel will be taking part in the Armed Forces Jubilee Parade and Muster at Windsor Castle to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

PRACTICE Members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary rehearse

PRACTICE Members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary rehearse

The navy’s State Ceremonial Training Officer, Warrant Officer Paul Barker, 49, of HMS Collingwood, is in charge of getting the navy’s contingent ready for action.

He said: ‘I’ve served 34 years and I go outside in January so this is the icing on the cake for me. The Royal Wedding last year was fantastic – but this is going to be even better.

‘To march in front of the Queen is a huge honour and the diamond jubilee is an event that we’ll probably never see again. It’s a one-off.’

Leading Chef Thomas Kirk, 38, of Gosport, served in Libya with HMS Liverpool last year.

He’ll be on parade to represent his new ship, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender.

He said: ‘I’m really looking forward to it. There’s going to be a lot of troops on parade.

‘To be one of the chosen few is a great privilege.’

Chief Petty Officer Martin Rowe, 32, who serves on Portsmouth-based HMS York, said: ‘I volunteered to do it and I’m really looking forward to it.’

Musician Michael Smith, 25, of Gosport, who is a drummer in HM Royal Marines Band HMS Collingwood, said: ‘I did the Royal wedding last year and that was fantastic. It was a great atmosphere and this will be the same.’