August 28 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Thousands of people flocked to the first day of the Colchester Military Tournament.
The packed programme included re-enactors displaying military techniques from throughout the ages, with Romans and Greeks to First World War Tommies wandering around the arena.
As well as the military events there was also a fun fair and a music arena with a range of music from the Military Wives choir, brass bands and country music, and a motorcycle stunt team.
This year’s tournament marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Toulouse in the Napoleonic wars, the centenary of the beginning of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The event is organised by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and fundraises to support the work the organisation does offering help to troops past and present, along with their families.
If successful the event will also donate some funds to the Colchester Mayor’s charities, and to a garden project at the Help for Heroes-run Chavasse VC House rehabilitation centre in Colchester.
Brigadier Tony Calder, chairman of the tournament organising committee, said: “It gives me great heart that despite the bad weather we had a large number of people attending which is great news.
“It is very exciting and a fantastic show with lots to do, a real family day out with a military flavour. There is something for everyone.
“This is a huge spectacle, with more military musicians than the British or Edinburgh Tattoos.”
This is the first Colchester Military Tournament, with the event following on in the footsteps of the previous tattoos run in the town by the Army which stopped around four years ago.
“We are looking to the future, and if this proves a success – and I am confident it will be – we want to build on that,” added Brig Calder.
“We aim to do this every other year, which is an exciting prospect, with the garrison open days on the alternate years.
“Abbey Field is the right place, close to the Colchester Garrison and surrounded by old garrison developments, this is the home of such a tournament.”
The event continues tomorrow, Sunday July 6.