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Monday, June 09, 2014

Skelmersdale Ex-Services Association World War One Centenary/Armed Forces Day

People from across West Lancashire are being invited to pay their respects to those who served their country during World War One.

Skelmersdale Ex-Services Association is organising a World War One Centenary/Armed Forces Day on Sunday June 29 to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

This occasion will also mark the annual Armed Forces Day and begins with a service to pay tribute to servicemen and women at Skelmersdale War Memorial at 10am.

The Liverpool Scottish Association Pipe & Drum Band will then lead a parade from the Memorial to Blaguegate Playing Fields. Forces veterans will march in the parade, along with Skelmersdale Sea Cadets, Skelmersdale Royal Air Force Cadets, Irish Guards cadets and youngsters from the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.

The playing fields, behind the JMO Sports Park, will be full of attractions between 10am and 5pm and there will be something for all the family. Entrance is free and everyone is welcome to come along.

Councillor Iain Ashcroft, Mayor of West Lancashire, said: “This will be a very important day when local people will come together to honour those courageous men and women who served their country in the Great War. We will gather with pride to pay our respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and the generations of people who have risked their lives in our armed forces right up to the present day.”

Tony Hamer, Skelmersdale Ex-Services Association Secretary, said: “This will be a marvellous event for the whole family so please come along and help us pay tribute to those who served their country in World War One and others who have done the same right up to the present day. Also we aim to raise funds for military charities.

“The Skelmersdale Ex-Services Association would like to thank Harry McKenzie (Head of Security at the Concourse) whose original idea for this event has prompted Skem Ex-Services Association to put on this military event and family day. We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for giving us funding and to West Lancashire Borough Council for the use of their fields, advice and support and giving £300 from its Older People’s Champion Grants Fund. Also to Sam Moradi from Bella Uno, Sandy Lane Precinct, who will be opening early for breakfasts on the day.”

A fabulous array of military vehicles from all eras will be on display at Blaguegate Playing Fields throughout the day. The display will be set up by the Military Vehicles Trust, who organise the annual display at Heaton’s Bridge Inn at Scarisbrick.

R. W. Technical Services of Ormskirk and The Concourse, have kindly sponsored the imposing Bell ‘Huey’ helicopter, which has been fully restored and saw action during the Vietnam War, It served in Vietnam until 1973 as part of 129 Assault Helicopter Company.

Local school children from the Skelmersdale Pupil Parliament, part of the Skelmersdale schools 'SHARES Lancashire' organisation, are working hard researching the names of individual service men and women on the Skelmersdale War Memorial.  Led by Jenny Tuffs, SHARES Lancashire Senior Project Officer, the Pupil Parliament will display the results of their work. This will eventually be made into a book of Remembrance to be displayed at Skelmersdale Library, which is part of Lancashire County Council’s Library Service. Local military historian Chris Bentley will also have a display in the same marquee.

An exciting line up of live musical entertainment has been organised for the day, with performances from Blues Station, Trez Fez, Skelmersdale Community Singers, Zoe Smith, and Ormskirk Ukulele Band.

There will also be fairgrounds rides for small children and they can have their faces painted.

Visitors can park in a number of places including the Concourse Shopping Centre, and from there they can have a free ride to the playing fields on a vintage bus that will leave every 30 minutes. Parking is also available at the Co-op site in Pennylands, Skem Junior Football Club and at the former TPT site. We urge visitors to respect local residents parking and use any of the above reserved parking spaces.

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