PICTURE SPECIAL: Emsworth shows its true colours for the Queen and St George
A ROUSING version of God Save the Queen was played to mark the Queen's 90th birthday at Emsworth's annual display of patriotism for St George's Day.
Soldiers from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery led a parade of veterans and schoolchildren through Queen Street to St Peters’s Square in honour of all those who have fought for our country, and in particular veterans of the Korean War.
Since the parade began nine years ago organisers have chosen to honour veterans of the Forgotten War, and mark the battle of Imjin River which raged from April 22 to 25 1951 with the Imjin Rose, given to all serving soldiers and veterans on parade.
The Emsworth Rose, as it is also known, was presented by Councillor Leah Turner, mayor of Havant, who expressed her thanks to the armed forces and said it was a privilege to welcome them and the veterans to Emsworth.
Norman Davies, 84, from Horndean, is a veteran of the battle.
He said: ‘It means a great deal to us in the Korean Veterans’ Association to have been invited.
‘It is a time to commemorate that particular battle, that particular war, and the people of Emsworth have supported us for nine years now. We really appreciate it.’
Hundreds of people lined the streets waving flags and clapping as the soldiers and veterans paraded past.
Barbara Melrose, of King Street, said: ‘We’ve been almost every year and we think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the people of Emsworth to show their support for the armed forces.
‘And it makes it extra special that we are celebrating the Queen’s birthday too.’
Following the presentation of the roses The George Regis Band struck up a chorus of Happy Birthday followed by God Save the Queen.
It was also a poignant day for Councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray who is stepping down from organising the parade on behalf of Emsworth Business Association after founding it in 2008.
He said: ‘I think it’s time I handed over to somebody else. It’s never too good for one person to keep doing the same thing for too long.
‘I’m very happy to have done this and to now be handing it over to someone else.’