July 23 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 30, 2014
Events have taken place in west Suffolk to recognise the contribution of our Armed Forces past and present.
Armed Forces Day on Saturday also gave people the opportunity to show their support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.
In Sudbury, there was a parade in the town centre led by the Colchester & District Pipes & Drums band and parade marshall Dave Beck, from the Sudbury branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL).
It included the Mayor of Sudbury, Robert Spivey, Reverend Gregory Webb, a detachment from Sudbury Army Cadet Force and members of the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA).
Colin Smith, a committee member with the Sudbury branch of the RBL, said the event is always moving.
“There’s a lot of big anniversaries this year: the start of the First World War, the D Day landings, and the fact our troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan this year and in the past members of the Suffolk Regiment have been involved out there.
“It’s a big year, but Armed Forces Day is to hopefully celebrate what the Armed Forces represent and do, rather than focusing on remembrance.”
In Bury St Edmunds, there was a procession from the Athenaeum to the Rose Garden, in the Abbey Gardens, where a memorial dedication service took place.
It was the late Sir Eldon Griffiths - who was Bury’s MP for 28 years - who last year suggested the idea to RAF Honington of a memorial in the Rose Garden. The memorial states it is dedicated “to all those that have served at RAF Honington past, present and future.”
Councillor Robert Everitt, Mayor of St Edmundsbury, said: “It’s always an honour to be invited to these events. It was fairly poignant it was Sir Eldon Griffiths who suggested the memorial.”
He said St Edmundsbury had a “long and proud history” with the Armed Forces, with close ties to the Royal Anglian Regiment, RAF Honington and Wattisham Airfield.
The procession included Group Captain Scott Miller, of RAF Honington, and the leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, councillor John Griffiths, the son of Sir Eldon.