Woking’s brothers in arms unite on Armed Forces Day

SHINING standards and gleaming medals of courage and bravery adorned Jubilee Square as residents stop to pay tribute and homage to the valiant efforts of our Armed Forces.

Servicemen and women, past and present, were remembered in a somber ceremony in the town centre on Saturday.

Organised by the Woking branch of the Royal Naval Association, the event also featured a parade, commanded for the very first time by Shipmate Ian Fraser (right).

Father Peter Andrews of St Dunstans Church conducted the service, which opened with the military procession along Commercial Way. A total of 15 standards from local veterans’ associations, including the South African Legion of England led members of the Woking Sea Cadet Crop in the march.

A crowd had gathered in the square to greet the parade and take part in the ceremony.

Woking Mayor, Councillor Anne Roberts, read the poem In Memory of a Son followed by the Exhortation and the Kohima Epithaph, which were given by the Royal Naval Association Woking branch chairman Chris Rego and secretary Rod Fraser respectively.

After a poignant rendition of The Last Post wreaths were laid on the town’s towering war memorial which bears the names of Woking residents who died in the World War conflicts.

The Salvation Army Band gave support as hymns filled the air.

There was a special moment as two representatives from Belgium came to pay their respects.

Their wreath was presented in honour of Sgt Wilf Jackson who, during his time in battle, helped deliver a baby in a town that was under siege from enemy forces.

Sgt Jackson is heralded as a hero in the town of Rijkevorsel and was also in attendance at the Armed Forces ceremony.

Ceremonial Officer Rod Fraser was full of pride after what he described as an excellent show of spirit.

He said: “Everyone was immaculate and I’m so grateful for everything they did to make the day a success.

“The support we had was fantastic, people were sitting in the square long before I had even arrived.

“We had just over 100 people in the parade, coming from all over the south of England and the other side of London.

“To know they came from miles around to be part of our parade makes my chest stick out.”

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