Yorkshire pays tribute to Armed Forces Day

Across the country tens of thousands congregated to pay tribute to service men and women, past and present, for Armed Forces Day.

Armed Forces Day in Scarborough.

Thousands of people flocked to a sunkissed South Bay in Scarborough where onlookers were treated to an array of parades, flypasts and demonstrations.

One of the highlights was the Vulcan flypast, as the aircraft is the last of its kind and is currently on its farewell tour.

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The Vulcan came in low over South Bay, doing multiple laps and manoeuvres much to the delight of the cheering crowds.

Armed Forces Day in Scarborough.

Roy Rowett, 81, a retired RAF mechanic, who had travelled from Doncaster for the event, said: “It’s a wonderful day and the flypast was brilliant.

“It’s our fifth time and it’s very well organised. There’s lots for families to enjoy.”

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said: “The event just gets better and better every year.

“I hope we can get the national event to come to Scarborough in due course.”

Armed Forces Day, Leeds, service men and women gathered in Millennium Square

In Leeds too massive crowds turned out over the weekend for an event that saluted the bravery of the country’s military heroes.

Residents of all ages flocked to the free event in Victoria Gardens and Cookridge Street as part of this year’s celebrations.

They enjoyed military-themed entertainment that included a Spitfire flyover and a parade by The 4th Yorkshire Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment. Ex-servicemen proudly stepping out included 92-year-old Sam Cowley, from Rothwell.

One of those manning a stall at the event was Paul Thompson, of the Yorkshire Malayan and Borneo Veterans Association. Mr Thompson, 69, from Yeadon, said: “The day was wonderful, we couldn’t have asked for any more. The crowd was estimated at around 15,000 at the time of the Spitfire flyover.”

Also present was the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Judith Chapman, who said: “It was a real privilege to join a big crowd as our city came together to thank and pay tribute to all of our serving personnel and veterans on Armed Forces Day. It was great to see so many people of all ages turn out and have such a great time.”

Soldiers from The Yorkshire Regiment paid a special visit to TV soap Emmerdale’s Woolpack pub on Friday. They handed over their regimental emblem, which will now be on display at the show’s set at Kirkstall Road in Leeds.

Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard in the series, said: “Your plaque will take pride of place in The Woolpack to remind us of the mettle and commitment from such a regiment.”

Nationally, Prime Minister David Cameron attended a parade in Guildford even after it was reported that the event would be targeted by Islamic State (IS).

Speaking at the national event, which included a service at Guildford Cathedral and a parade of more than 900 service personnel, veterans and cadets, the Prime Minister said: “Today, we celebrate our brave servicemen and women who work so hard to keep our country safe.”

Other guests at the Guildford event included Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach.

The Duke of York took the salute on the parade route on behalf of the Queen and Royal Family, as the Red Arrows staged a fly-past.