Poignant start to armed forces week

Armed Forces Day Flag Raising.'Mayor John Blackburn pauses to chat with veterans Bob Cass (left) and Edward Coole (right),'112501d. Pic Kevin Allen'20/06/11.
Armed Forces Day Flag Raising.'Mayor John Blackburn pauses to chat with veterans Bob Cass (left) and Edward Coole (right),'112501d. Pic Kevin Allen'20/06/11.

SCARBOROUGH’S Armed Forces Week had a poignant start when a minute’s silence was dedicated to a fallen Whitby soldier.

Craftsman Andrew Found, a 27-year-old of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) was killed in an explosion in Helmand province trying to rescue a vehicle which had been hit by another blast.

And when a crowd gathered in the Town Hall Gardens yesterday, to witness the Flying The Flag ceremony, Scarborough’s Mayor Cllr John Blackburn said it was important to remember his sacrifice.

He said: “The men and women who serve in the army, navy and air force find themselves in some unforgiving and hostile conditions. When we have the minute’s silence I’d like you to remember Andrew and his family.”

Speaking after the ceremony Cllr Tom Fox, the leader of Scarborough Council, said: “The death of a local soldier just brings it home to you just how close the military family is and the massive debt that we owe them. It’s really important that we remember them, celebrate them and enjoy them.”

Reveille was sounded at 10.30am when a special Armed Forces Day flag was raised on the town hall rooftop.

The ceremony was watched by veterans, cadets, VIPs and youngsters from Friarage, St George’s and Filey schools.

John Anderson, the secretary of the Scarborough branch of the Royal British Legion, said it was a chance for the public to pay their respects to past, present and future members of the armed forces.

He added: “Scarborough is at the forefront of supporting all members of the armed forces – particularly at this time having lost another member of REME.”

The highlight of the week-long programme of events will be the town’s third Armed Forces Day which will include displays by The Blades aeronautical team and a Lancaster Bomber.

Scarborough is the only place in the country where the Lancaster Bomber, which performed an important role in the celebrations to mark the recent Royal wedding, will be doing an air display on Armed Forces Day, organisers of the event have revealed.

It is due to begin its 15-minute display on Saturday over the South Bay at either 1.55pm or 2.10pm, depending on other commitments.

The day will also see a veterans’ parade along the seafront, marching bands, an air-sea rescue demonstration involving HMS Explorer, the RAF and RNLI and a host of stalls, events and activities aimed at all the family.

There will also be special visits into schools throughout the week by members of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help.

The week of events to celebrate the military will draw to a close on Sunday with a spectacular musical tribute to the Royal British Legion in its 90th year by the Scarborough Spa Orchestra in the Spa Grand Hall, complete with standard bearers and a poignant red poppy drop.