Veterans’ pride on an emotional city march

Armed Forces and Veterans day parade in Sheffield
Armed Forces and Veterans day parade in Sheffield
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Veterans spoke emotionally of their ‘pride’ as they paraded for applauding Sheffield crowds to honour members of the armed forces.

The procession, with those who fought for their country in front, some struggling to walk, and cadets bringing up the rear, was watched by crowds in the city centre on Saturday.

It led from Norfolk Row to the Peace Gardens, where activities and entertainment including music from a swing band were held for Armed Forces and Veterans Day.

Shiregreen 94-year-old Cyril Elliot, who landed on the Normandy beaches on D-Day and was the oldest Sheffield veteran to return to the French beaches for the 70th anniversary earlier this month, said: “This is something we have to keep going for as long as we possibly can.”

Friend and fellow veteran Ken Joel, aged 90, of Chancet Wood, served in Italy and Germany during the war.

He added: “It’s really important that people remember what we sacrificed for their and our freedom.

“It does fill you with pride to parade again.

“You never forget the memories, and the lads that were lost. People need to be reminded of what they did.”

Music, a wartime make and mend stall, and displays from cadets were also held in the city centre for the day of commemoration.

This year Armed Forces and Veterans Day formed part of events to mark 100 years since the outbreak of WWI and events around the 70th anniversary of the WWII Normandy landings.

Great-grandmother Eileen Rollinson, aged 83, of Rotherham, said: “We come every year to the parade.

“We know what these men went through and we grew up in war time.”

Her cousin Jean Baxter, of Hackenthorpe, Sheffield, added: “I visited the war graves in Normandy for 23 years – my first uncle was killed in the war and that’s why I went the first time.

“They are beautiful and so well kept, the cemeteries are a really peaceful place.

“Everyone should come to events like this to support the armed forces and remember their sacrifices.”