Italy Star veterans prepare to return to Chichester

Veterans pictured in 2013 marching up North Street for the annual procession
Veterans pictured in 2013 marching up North Street for the annual procession
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VETERANS from the second world war will come to Chichester next month for the annual Italy Star parade.

Now aged mainly in their 90s, Italy campaign veterans from the second world war will come to Chichester on May 16.

It is hoped, as in the past, the streets will be lined by cheering crowds, to applaud these courageous souls

Mary Tidy, chairman of the Italy Star Association

They will stay at the South Downs Holiday Village, in Bracklesham, over the weekend of May 16-17, attending a service at the cathedral led by the dean on Sunday, followed by a march through the city centre.

Chairman of the Italy Star Association Mary Tidy said: “After the cathedral service, perhaps the most colourful and spectacular display of discipline and loyalty will become evident as these heroic old soldiers parade through part of the city, behind a pipes and drums band, saluting to the military officers and dignitaries outside the council house.

“It is hoped, as in the past, the streets will be lined by cheering crowds, to applaud these courageous souls.”

This year marks not only the end of the campaign to free Italy but also the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war.

Descendants, other family members and supporters of these soldiers make up the total membership of the association.

The events taking place during the weekend begin with a formal reception involving military attachés from the principal nations involved in the campaign: Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Canada and India.

“It is a sad fact of life that with every passing year, fewer veterans are able to be present, so all attendees maximize their enjoyment of the time here,” said Mrs Tidy.

The cathedral service is open to the public.

Visit the website www.italystarassociation.org.uk for more information.