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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-01-07

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Armed Forces Day 2017, Liverpool
Photographs by Patrick Trollope

ON Saturday, 24 June 2017, the nation’s focus was on Liverpool, for Armed Forces Day 2017. The event was combined with the Mersey River Festival, which ran on Sunday as well.

Saturday’s activities started with a large parade of Service men and women, both serving and veterans, along with cadet force members. This large parade set off from the steps of St George’s Hall, accompanied by a flypast from an RAF Typhoon (Euro Fighter) whilst on Liverpool Pier Head, a gun salute was performed by a local army unit. As the parade moved through the streets of Liverpool, VIPs assembled on the banks of the River Mersey, with the Royal Navy's Type 23 Frigate, HMS Iron Duke behind.

The dignitaries included:- the Vice Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Gordon Messenger, the Prime Minister Theresa May, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, Liverpool City Region Mayor is Steve Rotherham, and other local mayors and officials from the armed forces.

Taking the taking the salute and representing the Queen was Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. The Royal Salute ending the parade coincided with a flypast of the RAF’s Red Arrows Display Team. Following the parade, Prince Edward, headed over to some of the displays, which included an Apache Helicopter, to meet veterans and service man and women, before leaving. You can watch footage of the Salute, and the Royal walkabout within this week’s issue, in our photographic coverage.

You can also see an interview in our photographic coverage section, with a Wirral Apache helicopter pilot, Mark Bowker, 32, who landed and took off in the amazing helicopter from the Pier Head. He described this as 1 of the most amazing things he has done since he joined the Army.

Then came the Dragon Boat Racing, on the docks, with teams from Cammell Laird’s, HMS Iron Duke, local Army, Navy and Air Force Cadets taking part. You can watch our footage of this on our Facebook Page.

Just after the Dragon Boat Racing, the Prime Minister left, also walking through the display area on her way out of the event. She also stopped at times to talk to service personnel and veterans along the way.

At round 2pm, eyes were again looking up at the sky as the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew over the River Mersey, performing a short, but very well received flypast.

As lots of activities took place on land, it was extremely hard to get around and see it all, due to the huge volume of people who came out to see this spectacle, which honours those serving and those who have served in our armed forces. Throughout the day there was street theatre across the Pier Head and food concessions and bars throughout the site, keeping young and old entertained.

At 4pm, the Royal Navy Wildcat flypast took place, again over the Mersey. The day ended with Beating Retreat and Ceremonial Sunset by the Royal Marines Band from the area next to Cruise Liverpool’s passenger lounge. Did you attend or take part?

We would love to know what you thought of the event and also hear you memories of the day. Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com today.  To see our 1st part of our photographic coverage of this event, please click on here now.  More information about Armed Forces day can be found on:- ArmedForcesDay.Org.UK.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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