ST GEORGE’S Day in Emsworth was particularly poignant this year.
The parade through the town commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the first world war, and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
It was also the last time 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, based at Baker Barracks, Thorney Island, led the parade before their departure from the area.
Hundreds of residents and traders turned out to send off the troops, who have served there for 25 years.
Councillor for Emsworth, Brendan Gibb-Gray, said: “We are very sad to be losing 47 Regiment, but glad we had the opportunity to say goodbye. They are our neighbours and we shall miss them greatly.
“The day is also an opportunity to show our appreciation of the unstinting duty of the men and women of our armed services now, and in past conflicts.”
The parade was accompanied by the Band of the Rifles and some 80 veterans from various conflicts were presented with the Emsworth Rose, given in honour of soldiers who fought in the Battle of Imjin Rover in the Korean War, which concluded on St George’s Day in 1951.
Former warrant officer and Korean War veteran Norman Davies said: “Today was absolutely brilliant, and a lot more veterans turned up than expected.”
Emsworth residents Bea and Mike White watch the parade every year. “We never miss it,” said Mike.
“When it’s on your doorstep, you must get involved and show your support.”
For all the pictures, see this week’s Observer (April 24).