SLIDESHOW: Mirfield celebrates Armed Forces Day

The dedication, bravery and sacrifice of servicemen and women was celebrated during an Armed Forces Day event.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 3rd July 2013, 6:00 pm

Around 200 people, including cadets and veterans, joined Mirfield Royal British Legion (RBL) members at the Old Colonial on Saturday.

Mirfield RBL member Tim Wood said the Best of British Day had lived up to its name.

“It was absolutely first class,” he said. “It was a top notch flag waiving event. Everybody was very proud.”

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The celebrations began with a speech from Mirfield town crier Russell Booth and the national anthem.

A ceremony was then held to mark the laying up of the 1940 Dunkirk Veterans’ Association Leeds branch standard, which will be kept at the pub in Dunbottle Lane.

Former paratrooper Mick Webber paraded the standard, which was blessed by Mirfield RBL chaplain Ian Grange.

Coun David Pinder also gave a brief history of association. Founded in Leeds in 1943, it has represented service personnel who served during the 1940 operation to evacuate allied armies from Dunkirk and other ports for the past 70 years.

Association member Bernard Richardson and his family were among those looking on as the Last Post and Reveille were performed by Peter Rhodes.

Afterwards, Mirfield RBL president Barry Fretwell introduced Deputy Lord Lieutenant Major Ashley Rawlins and Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell. Together they presented armed service lapel crests to veterans who were yet to receive them.

Mr Wood said: “The recipients were thrilled and proud. We can send off for these medals yourself, but you just get them back in the post.

“These people have been the back bone of our country. We should say thank you to them, remind others of how people served and hope that a little bit of that rubs off.”

The formalities drew to a close with a silent drill 868 (Mirfield) Squadron Air Training Corps, who later shared their music and drum skills.