Woking out in force to honour soldiers in Veterans Parade

TOUR DE FORCES – after the parade starting from Commercial Way, the standard bearers representing a variety of organisations line up in Woking town square facing the war memorial

TOUR DE FORCES – the standard bearers representing a variety of organisations line up in Woking town square facing the war memorial

NEARLY 400 people gathered in Woking’s town square on Saturday for the annual Armed Forces and Veterans Parade and service.

More than 100 people took part in the parade, with 25 standards from various organisations, marching bands, 60
veterans, and representatives from the  Royal Navy, RAF, Marines and Army.

Organiser of the event and veteran Rod Fraser, of the Royal Naval Association Woking branch, saw to it that everything ran smoothly.

He said: “The parade started at 10amwhile the service took place at 11.30am around the war memorial. And because our RNA branch has a new standard, it had to be dedicated, which the association’s padre Barry Grimster (Rev of St Peter’s Church in Old Woking) included in the service.”

Woking mayor Michael Smith attended the ceremony with mayoress Anne Murray.

In his speech Cllr Smith said: “Armed Forces Day is a significant date in the calendar and gives people in Woking borough and across the country the chance to show their support and appreciation for the courageous men and women who
have served, and currently serve, in our armed forces around the world.”

Despite the massive redevelopment project being carried out in the town Mr Fraser said: “I liaised with the Kier Group, who are responsible for all the building work, and the boss and his team worked incredibly hard.

“They cleared the area right from Commercial Way through to the town square to make sure we had a good day. They bent over backwards – even concreting over holes to make sure the area was safe for marching. I really cannot thank them enough.”

The day was particularly poignant for Eleanor Shurville, 66, of Woking.

Eleanor, originally from Holland, saluted the veterans and said: “They saved my country.”

A specially-designed flag was raised at ceremonies across the country to mark the week of events leading up to Armed Forces Day.

In Woking the flag remained flying above the civic offices until Monday.

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