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Armed Forces Day set to be biggest ever in Nuneaton.

Byline: Claire Harrison News reporter

THE BRAVERY of servicemen and women will be celebrated during Nuneaton's Armed Forces Day commemorations.

The event on Saturday is the biggest in Warwickshire and takes place this year on the Gala Field off Avenue Road.

Visitors will be able to enjoy static military displays, a military band, military units from all three services, military reenactors from World War One and Sikh regiments.

There will also be the hotly-contested Cadets Forces Gun Run, children's rides and amusements as well as around 40 market stalls.

It will be, according to Len Hardy of the Veterans Contact Point (VCP) the biggest event they have hosted yet and they are appealing to all members of the community to pop along.

He said: "This year's event is going to be huge and we hope that it is well supported.

"It is the biggest one we have held so far and it is important for us to be able to celebrate this day and we hope that lots of people will come along, we know that people across Nuneaton and Bedworth are very supportive of the armed forces."

Armed Forces Day is an annual national campaign that gives communities the opportunity to show their support for the men and women of the armed forces including currently serving troops, service families, reservists, veterans and cadets.

Brave Cecil Jeffcoate from Bulkington was given the honour of raising the Armed Forces Day flag at the home of Warwickshire County Council, Shire Hall on Monday.

The 93-year-old former glider pilot was chosen in recognition of the fact that he was awarded the Legion of Honour, the highest French order for military and civil merits.

He was part of the Normandy landings during the Second World War.

Cecil, who was 21 at the time, arrived as back-up at Pegasus Bridge just hours after it had been taken from the Germans.

He and his comrades helped keep it from recapture from Nazi troops, protecting the British route from Sword Beach in the process.

Cecil says: "I remember that time as if it was yesterday - we were hanging on by our fingernails, but we held the ground and eventually pushed the Germans back."

He joined the plea for people to support Armed Forces Day and take part in the event, which will run from 10am until 4pm.

"Armed Forces Day is so important because we should never forget all the people who have fought for this country," the veteran said.

"Younger people should know about it too, and this day helps make sure we all remember."

The celebration of the Armed Forces and its personnel of the past and present is especially poignant in 2016 as the nation commemorates the centenary of the World War One battles of Jutland and The Somme.

| Armed Forces Day will see the Cadets Forces Gun Run, military units from all three services, children's rides and amusements as well as 40 market stalls

'"This year's event is going to be huge and we hope that it is well supported. LEN HARDY

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 24, 2016
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