Littlehampton’s Armed Forces Day spectacular

Marching with pride ' children from the town's uniformed services and schools in the procession'ks1500241-13
Marching with pride ' children from the town's uniformed services and schools in the procession'ks1500241-13

SIRENS blared out across Littlehampton seafront as thousands of people gathered to marvel at all the town’s military might on Saturday (June 27).

Blissful sunshine graced this year’s Armed Forces Day celebration on The Green, which was easily one of the largest in the county.

Daniel Hackett, nine, testing a weapon'ks1500241-7'

Daniel Hackett, nine, testing a weapon'ks1500241-7'

And this week there was a show-stopping aerial display above the seafront by the daring pilots of the Great War Aerial Display Team.

Two planes from the squad swooped low over the sea in a mock dogfight, with air raid sirens ringing out before and after the show.

Smoke trailed behind each plane while they took evasive action in the sky, at points little more than 100 metres away from the crowd.

Beach Ward councillor, Dr James Walsh – himself a Navy veteran – was delighted with the display.

Ben Ulrick cleaning the barrel of the gun'ks1500241-4

Ben Ulrick cleaning the barrel of the gun'ks1500241-4

“I thought it went extremely well,” he said. “The public certainly seemed to appreciate it. The highlights were the World War One aerial display which I thought was absolutely stunning and the World War One re-enactments.”

The day launched with traditional drumhead parade with veterans and uniformed groups marching along the seafront promenade.

Music was provided by the district Scout band, the Littlehampton wing of the Nautical Training Corps, TS Implacable, and Sea Cadets TS Sussex.

There was plenty to see on The Green, with an array of armoured vehicles, tanks, stalls and displays with the 4th Littlehampton Scouts having created an assault course which proved popular with youngsters.

Young Beavers during the parade' ks1500241-15'

Young Beavers during the parade' ks1500241-15'

However, one of the stand- out attractions was the 30 Commando Unit Royal Marines display.

Covered in combat netting, there was plethora of heavy weapons on display, from machine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles, to armoured jeeps and pistols.

“The Marines were a credit to their unit and showed a real interest in answering questions,” Dr Walsh said.

The action was completed with a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Littlehampton Town Council, Harbour Park and uniformed groups set the day up.