A 400-strong parade of service personnel, veterans, reservists and cadets took part in a parade to mark Armed Forces Day at the weekend.
The parade on Saturday (June 25), was led by the pipes and drums of the Seaforth Highlanders, and was designed to show support for the UK’s Armed Forces.
It set off from Jubilee Square and made its way to Green Dragon Square, with the route taking in High Street, Gallowtree Gate and Horsefair Street.
Crowds in Green Dragon Square were entertained by the Corps of Drums, before a fly-past of a single Spitfire took place to signal the start of the open-air service.
Led by the Bishop of Loughborough, Saju Muthalaly, the 30-minute service included the reflections of a serving soldier and performances by the Cottesmore Military Wives Choir.
It’s the first time since 2019 that the parade has taken place due to restrictions put in place as a result of Covid-19.
“After missing the last two years due to Covid, we are delighted to acknowledge the work of our armed forces, both past and present, and to welcome them back to Leicester,” said Lord Mayor Cllr George Cole, who was present on the day.
Assistant City Mayor Cllr Vi Dempster is the city council’s Armed Forces Champion. “Both my parents served in the forces, so I know the sacrifices that our servicemen and women make to serve our country,” she said. “In a city as diverse as Leicester, we don’t need reminding of the huge role played by our Commonwealth partners in various conflicts over the years.
“Armed Forces Week gives us an opportunity to show our gratitude to all of those brave men and women, from Britain and beyond, who continue to play such a vital role in the security of our country.”
Leicester has a longstanding relationship with local units of the armed forces, with both the Royal Lancers and Royal Anglian Regiments having been granted the freedom of the city of Leicester. The city council is also a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, which sets out the authority’s relationship with the armed forces, and the services available to current and former personnel and their families. Leicester’s Armed Forces Day Parade and Service has been organised by Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, the Lieutenancy Office, and Leicester Cathedral.