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CEREMONY and celebration were the order of Armed Forces Day.

The event got under way on Saturday afternoon with the Yorkshire Volunteers Band marching to the foot of St Nicholas Gardens, where town crier Alan Booth and mayor John Blackburn officially opened the occasion.

Cllr Blackburn described it as a very special day.

He paid tribute to Whitby soldier Andrew Found who died in Afghanistan earlier this month, and all the other families who have lost someone they love.

The event continued with an aeronautical display from The Blades, and a demonstration of a sea-to-air rescue from HMS Explorer, the RAF Sea King Helicopter and Scarborough RNLI.

Music was performed throughout the day by the Yorkshire Volunteers Band, and the Heavey Cavalry and Cambrai Band.

Due to engine problems the planned Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster bomber display could not go ahead.

Thousands of people turned out for the event, many waving flags and donning Union Jacks or camouflage clothing.

One of the supporters was Moreen Ellis, 56, of Dean Road. She said: “We just wanted to come out and thank the troops for all they have done.”

Her thoughts were echoed by 83-year-old Di Cook, of Crossgates, who said: “It is also in support of those who went before them, and were lost in the two World Wars. We are here today for them too.”

Crowds gathered especially for the Veteran Parade, which was lead by The Heavey Cavalry and Cambrai Band, followed by 2Signal Regiment platoon, Parade of Standards, Armed Forces veteran, Scarborough’s Cadet units, civilian uniformed youth groups and the Royal British Legion Riders.

After the parade drew to a halt at the foot of St Nicholas Gardens there was a presentation of special Scarborough Armed Forces Day Flags to Colour Sergeant David Lightfoot, HMS Explorer, and George Southern.

CSgt Lightfoot, from Crossgates, will be taking his flag to Afghanistan when he is deployed with the 2Yorkshire regiment in August.

He said: “It is an honour to take a little bit of Scarborough to Afghanistan with me, to remind the troops of the support they have from the people of Scarborough.”

A service of thanksgiving was led by the Rev Martyn Dunning, the vicar of Scarborough, before town crier Alan Booth gave three cheers to the Armed Forces.

The Yorkshire Volunteers Band played out the event.

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