Armed Forces Day celebration a great success

21/06/2017, PR8581

​Thousands of people visited Pontefract Park at the weekend to join in the Armed Forces Day celebrations.

Armed Forces Day with Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson MBE
rmed Forces Day with Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson MBE

​The Council marked the outstanding contribution that the armed forces make to the country with the day of fun and activities on Sunday.

The event attracted crowds of visitors who saw a Spitfire fly-past, courtesy of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and a spectacular parachute freefall display by the Royal Logistic Corps Free Fall Display team.

Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson MBE, former paratrooper who was seriously injured in Afghanistan again joined the celebrations

This year's event also saw a special plaque unveiled to commemorate the important role that Pontefract Racecourse, which is in Pontefract Park, played in World War One, when it was used as an airfield. Like so many racecourses, Pontefract was a ready-made airfield and the BE2c aircraft of 33 Squadron and 76 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps used the park as a landing ground from 1916 to 1918.

Cllr Sandra Pickin, Wakefield Council's Armed Forces Champion, said: "I am so pleased that so many people came along and enjoyed this fantastic day, which recognises the vital contribution of those who have fought to protect our country and those that are still serving."

Armed forces groups, emergency services, veteran groups and community groups held stall or demonstrations at the event. Entertainment was provide by local dance groups and bands.


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