Wiganers urged to support Armed Forces Day

Standard bearers in the parade last year
Standard bearers in the parade last year

Wiganers are being urged to turn out in large numbers this weekend to pay their respects to the borough’s veterans on Armed Forces Day.

Residents, visitors, businesses and families are being encouraged to join the day of themed activities and show their support for the armed forces community.

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The annual event, which is being organised by Wigan Council, will see a host of attractions on Saturday in the new Market Place area of Wigan town centre.

Veterans are invited to enjoy a free breakfast on Believe Square from 9am to kick-start the day.

A parade will begin at Mesnes Park at 10.30am, heading along Crompton Street to Wigan Parish Church.

Hundreds of people, young and old, are expected to line the streets to see the procession and pay tribute to the current and former servicemen and women taking part.

A family fun day will then be held in the town centre throughout the day and residents are invited to go along to celebrate the dedication and hard work of the local armed forces community.

Attractions will include a visual First World War field hospital display complete with military vehicles.

There will also be information stalls, musical entertainment, face painting and a climbing wall for the younger generation.

Speaking ahead of the celebrations, Coun Clive Morgan, lead member for armed forces at the council, said: “Armed Forces Day is always a special day and this year is no exception.

“The event is a fantastic way for us to stand in solidarity together and to thank our veterans and serving personnel for their continuous sacrifices to keep our country safe.

“We hope that as many people as possible come out to line the streets and show support for the huge armed forces community in our borough.”

The Armed Forces Day event will be held in Wigan town centre this year due to work taking place at Leigh Town Hall, where the scaffolding and fencing would restrict the space available.

It is not the only event being held in the borough to recognise the difference made by the armed forces and to thank veterans and their families for their efforts.

The police will also show their support by raising the armed forces flag outside Wigan police station, on Robin Park Road.

It will go up on Friday morning and will fly over the weekend.

Members of Wigan’s Royal British Legion branch and the borough’s armed forces hub have been invited to attend the ceremony.

Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Meanwhile, First Manchester is honouring the armed forces community with free bus travel for serving troops, veterans and cadets on Saturday so they can travel to Armed Forces Day events.