Armed Forces Day in Wigan 2016

The parade braves torrential rain to march through the town on National Armed Forces Day, Wigan
The parade braves torrential rain to march through the town on National Armed Forces Day, Wigan

Crowds lined the streets as Wigan saluted its heroic armed services personnel.

The now annual Armed Forces Day is a time for both reflection and celebration and saw the town centre thronging with locals as the event began with the traditional parade culminating with a short service at Wigan Parish Church.

A variety of military vehicles, displays and stalls informing people about the council’s work to support armed forces families were set up along Market Place.

And a refurbished gun used during the Second World War was unveiled by the Mayor of Wigan, Coun Ron Conway as it is put on display in Wigan for the first time.

When war broke out in 1939, the forebears of Wigan’s Territorial Army were mobilized on horseback along with the rest of the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry.

However, they soon became two regiments of medium artillery - 77(DLOY) and 78(DLOY) Medium Regiments RA.

One of the guns used during the war has been fully restored and refurbished thanks to businessman Terence Lawrenson.

The gun, which has been deactivated, will later have a permanent home outside the Army Reserve Centre on Canal Street.

Mesnes Park also hosted an event yesterday, with music performed by the Duke of Lancaster Regiment’s regimental band on the bandstand.