THE crowds in Jubilee Square stood united in honour of Britain’s Armed Forces on Saturday, joining the nation in a salute to those who defended, and those who continue to defend, our country.
Organised by local veteran Rod Fraser, the parade was attended by cadets, veterans and serving officers from the Army, Royal Navy and Air Forces sporting pristine uniforms, polished shoes and medals gleaming in the midday sun.
Also paying respects were Woking Mayor and Mayoress, Derek and Rosemary McCrum, and local council Leader and Chairman of the Bisley, Knaphill & West End branch of the Royal British Legion, John Kingsbury.
Councillor Kingsbury told the News & Mail: “The parade to mark Armed Forces Day was held in brilliant sunshine and watched by a large number of Woking residents, councillors and visitors.”
The service, led by Rev Chrissie Lacey, was focussed around Woking War Memorial, while Forces’ standards were held proud and wreaths were laid. Rajen Chhetri, from Nepal, carried a flag, while Peter Dickens of the South Africa Legion UK branch laid a wreath.
Meanwhile, Almac Bisley Brass Band played out, complemented by the dulcet tones of Bisley Ladies’ Choir.
Cllr Kingsbury added: “As usual our veterans did us proud and so did the many cadets who took part. Standard bearers from many military organisations marched past the Mayor as he took the salute, applauded by everyone present as they left Jubilee Square.
“It was a fitting tribute to this important day, which is now firmly part of Woking’s calendar of events.”
Many of those present travelled to Guildford’s Stoke Park to join tens of thousands of others – including the Woking Squadron of the Air Cadets – to witness the National Armed Forces Day celebrations, with a packed series of military displays in front of HRH the Duke of York and PM David Cameron, including a Red Arrows flyover.
Prior to the Woking service, Bisley, Knaphill & West End British Legion held a collection at Brookwood Sainsbury’s, supported by Chairman Cllr Kingsbury, Store Manager Mark Salmon, Cllr Saj Hussain, Rajen Chhetri, branch volunteers Joyce Cadwallader and Jane Goodman, and the distinguished 97-year-old D-Day veteran Victor Jeffery.
Victor fought with the Dorsetshire Regiment at Arnhem and received France’s highest honour, the Legion D’Honneur.