STREETS came to a standstill in Emsworth as hundreds of people packed into the town centre to watch the annual St George’s Day parade.
Loud cheers erupted as soldiers from 20 Battery (HQ) of 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, who are based on nearby Thorney Island, marched into High Street.
The men and women of 16 Regiment were followed closely by a bumper contingent of about 60 veterans from conflicts spanning the Second World War, Korea, Burma, Malaya and the Gulf.
Among them was D-Day veteran Arthur Bailey, of Hawthorne Crescent in Cosham.
The 95-year-old former paratrooper, who was being pushed in his wheelchair, was among the thousands of troops to take part in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, landing on Gold Beach.
He said: ‘This is one of the great times of the year and I love coming to St George’s Day parade in Emsworth.
‘I couldn’t be part of it last year because I wasn’t allowed. So it means so much for me to be here today.
‘The support is wonderful – it’s as good as Portsmouth’s during Remembrance Sunday. It’s fantastic.’
Forming up at The Lord Raglan pub, the procession made its way into High Street towards St Peter’s Square before looping to the right along Spring Gardens and into Kings Terrace before then heading back to the town centre.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Colton, the regiment’s commanding officer, praised the service of his men and women and paid tribute to the efforts of the veterans and their fallen comrades.
Councillor Peter Wade, Mayor of Havant, also thanked those in attendance and paid tribute to the former organiser of the event, Councillor Rivka Cresswell, who died suddenly a few weeks ago.
Veterans and soldiers were presented with the Emsworth Rose by children from Thorney Island Primary School to honour the heroism of the British troops who fought in the Korean War before the National Anthem was sung.