Air cadets from 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron together with other units from within the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing joined war veterans and serving soldiers in Bedworth on Wednesday 11th November to honour the heroes of Wars past and present.
Bedworth has an unbroken 89-year tradition of holding an Armistice Day Parade on the eleventh day of the eleventh month and is recognised as being the larges parade of its type outside of London. As such, Armistice Day has always been a special occasion for the people of Nuneaton & Bedworth but this year heavy rain looked set to turn the annual parade into a washout.
At one stage Gil Leach, chairman of the Bedworth Armistice Day Parade Group, thought that he may have to call off the parade but brave battle-hardened old soldiers who had made their annual pilgrimage to the town centre changed his mind and the parade went ahead as planned.
Rank upon rank of old soldiers and members of the cadet forces didn't let the bad weather beat them as the parade led by the military bands and a massed formation of ex-service and cadet standards made its way through the streets to the town's war memorial for the service of remembrance.
Four local Nuneaton & Bedworth Air Cadets from 121 Squadron, Connor Jones, Nathan Tyson, William Mott and Deanna Young all had central parts to play during the service at the Memorial which was led by the Rev Richard Hare, who had himself served 22 years in the RAF. In front of literally thousands of onlookers and surrounded by the press and television crews, the Four youngsters stood to attention at their posts in front of the Memorial during the Silence, waiting for the moment when they would trigger the start of the wreath laying ceremony by handing over the wreaths to the civic dignitaries which included the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Martin Dunne, the High Sheriff of Warwickshire Richard Hardy, the Mayor of Nuneaton & Bedworth Councillor Don Navarro and the Chair of Warwickshire County Council, Councillor Josie Compton.
After the service, hundreds of veterans representing, the Royal Navy, almost every regiment of the Army and the Royal Air Force together with the Cadets from all three services and other youth organisations proudly marched through the town, to the sound of the regimental bands and the applause of the flag waving crowds.
The salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Martin Dunne and the Mayor of Nuneaton & Bedworth Don Navarro. Wing Commander Steve Mills RAFVR(T) and Squadron Leader Martin Harrison RAFVR(T) were also at the saluting base.
After the parade Gil Leach chairman of the Bedworth Armistice Day Parade Group said, "I am so pleased with the turn-out, in such bad weather, the town and everyone including the cadets did us proud."
Former MP Mike O'Brien, who is president of the Bedworth Armistice Day Parade Group, said, "So much hard work goes into this day from Gil and the committee and we thought that the bad weather might keep people away but it was fantastic to see so many people braving the weather to support Armistice Day,"
Flt Lt Paul Hincks Media Communications Officer for Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing said, “The Bedworth Armistice Day parade is really something quite special, to see the bands and rank upon rank of Standards and veterans, from all over the country marching through the streets is just a stunning sight. Those cadets who had special duties during the service, Wreath Bearers, Standard Bearers and all the other cadets in the flights did an absolutely outstanding job not only of representing the Air Cadet movement but also our parent service.”
Please visit our 2010 Bedworth Armistice Day Parade Photo Gallery