Air cadets from the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing joined war veterans and serving soldiers in Bedworth on Monday 11th November to honour the heroes of Wars past and present.
Bedworth has an unbroken 95-year tradition of holding an Armistice Day Parade on the eleventh day of the eleventh month and is recognised as being the largest 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. Thankfully the battle-hardened old soldiers who had made their annual pilgrimage to Bedworth braved the inclement weather and the parade went ahead as planned.
The Band of 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron headed by their Drum Major Deanna Young, carrying the Memorial Mace, which bears the name of Bedworth's own music loving War Hero Sergeant Dennis Wale, led a contingent of Air cadets from Squadrons within the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing. Sea and Army cadets, school children and members of other youth organisations were also on parade representing the next generation, who will eventually be entrusted with keeping Bedworth's Armistice Day Parade tradition alive.
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 which was led by the Rev Richard Hare, who had himself served 22 years in the RAF.
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 Timothy Cox and the Deputy Mayor of Nuneaton & Bedworth. 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."
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.”
The Bedworth Armistice Day Parade and Service is organised by the Bedworth Armistice Day Committee and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council. www.bedwortharmisticeday.org
Please visit our 2013 Bedworth Armistice Day Parade Photo Gallery