Veterans mark military service

GALLERY Veterans and serving soldiers remembered fallen heroes and celebrated the efforts of all servicemen at the weekend.The third annual Veterans' Day was marked by a special service at Wattisham Airfield.

VETERANS and serving soldiers remembered fallen heroes and celebrated the efforts of all servicemen at the weekend.

The third annual Veterans' Day was marked by a special service at Wattisham Airfield.

More than 80 veterans were at Wattisham Airfield, where the day was marked by a helicopter flypast.

The Ipswich branches of The Royal Naval Association, The British Korean Veterans Association and The Royal British Legion, as well as The Royal British Legion branch in Needham Market were represented at the ceremony.

It took the form of a church service followed by a tour round the airfield where the veterans were shown the old and new Apache Helicopters currently stationed at Wattisham, as well as the airfield's museum.

Veterans Day came at the end of a grim fortnight for East Anglian service personnel after the deaths of Colchester-based soldiers in Afghanistan.

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The garrison town marked its association with the army with a special church service and a parade through the High Street.

Among those paying tribute were town's MP Bob Russell, Colchester Garrison Commander Colonel Tony Phillips and town mayor Peter Crowe.

The service of thanksgiving featured a two-minute silence, signalled by a bugler playing the Last Post, and two performances by the choir of the town's Sixth Form College.

During the service, the Right Reverend Christopher Morgan, Bishop of Colchester, spoke passionately about the sacrifices and contributions made by former servicemen.

Mr Crowe said the deaths of six soldiers from the town in Afghanistan over the past three weeks had “added a certain poignancy” to the day.

Col Phillips said it was very important for the civic and civilian community of the town to show they were “right behind” the serving and former soldiers.