Forces march on town at the double

RAF Boulmer personnel raising the flag with bugler Glen Hogg.

RAF Boulmer personnel raising the flag with bugler Glen Hogg.

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A double celebration of military service will take place when cadets and veterans coverge with army, navy and air force personnel in Alnwick at the weekend.

Northumbria Army Cadet Force will be given the freedom of the county on Saturday, with 250 expected to march through the streets of the town, led by a brass band, from 11am.

And they will be followed by the Armed Forces Week parade of active servicemen and women from the RAF, Royal Navy and Army who, together with veterans, will parade from Greenwell Road, through the Bondgate Tower and up to the Market Place.

Crowds gathered in the square last Saturday for a special ceremony to mark the start of Armed Forces Week. Alnwick’s Town Crier John Stevens began the proceedings with a reading, which was followed by the Rev Joan Grindrod-Helmn, who introduced and lead the service. RAF Boulmer’s station chaplin, Squadron Leader Paul Rennie, read prayers during the service.

The ceremony came to a close with the Rev Grindrod-Helmn giving a final blessing. Squadron Leader Garry Donavan, representing RAF Boulmer, brought service personnel to attention before everybody sang the National Anthem.

As the town square clock struck 11 o’clock, bugler Glen Hogg from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers played the Reveille while two RAF Boulmer personnel raised the flag.

This Saturday, there will also be a short ceremony at 5.15pm in the Market Place as the flag is formally lowered.