World War One sacrifices to be saluted at Forces Day

Military displays, musical entertainment and a World War One simulation dome will come to the borough next weekend as Armed Forces Day returns.

Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 10:52 am
Updated Thursday, 15th June 2017, 1:57 pm
Picture by Julian Brown 25/06/16 Trooper Luke Gribbin shows Abbygale Hogarth (6) the workings of a RWMIK Armoured Vehicle National Armed Forces Day, Wigan

Wigan Council has organised the event, which will take place on Saturday June 24 in Leigh’s Civic Square.

Veterans are encouraged to enjoy a free breakfast in Leigh Market at 10am ahead of the parade, which will start on Brown Street South at 10.30am and will end at St Mary the Virgin Church.

A family fun day will then take over Civic Square between 11am and 3pm, inviting residents to celebrate the dedication and hard-work of the local armed forces community.

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There will be ample opportunities for residents to reflect on the day, including the use of a World War One simulation dome, provided by Leigh Community Trust.

The experience allows curious visitors to lie inside and experience the virtual reality of a World War One trench complete with sights, smells and sounds, giving people a minor insight into the terrible conditions our soldiers endured.

Borough Mayor Coun Bill Clarke said: “Armed Forces Day is always a special day and this year is no exception.

“Approximately 700 people from Leigh died in World War One and over 200 in World War Two, so the day 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.”

Children can take advantage of face-painting stalls and photo opportunities with military vehicles and artillery guns, while other members of the community can enjoy the live entertainment and information about the support available to Wigan Borough’s veterans.

A number of businesses and organisations have sponsored the Leigh event, including Leigh Market, who will provide the veteran’s breakfast, Tesco, who will provide hand-made packed lunches for volunteers and the Ministry of Defence, who have contributed money towards the hire of equipment.

Bengal Street car park will be limited due to the street velodrome, which will be operational that day. Visitors can park at Spinningate and the surrounding area.

Anybody unable to attend on the day can watch the events unfold on Wigan Council’s social media pages and can check #SaluteOurForces