Remembering those who never tasted home again

Armed Forces Week service at Fylde Memorial Aboretum, Bispham
Armed Forces Week service at Fylde Memorial Aboretum, Bispham
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A poignant service remembered the fallen victims of war.

Veterans, soldiers and their families joined MPs and senior councillors as they gathered at the Fylde Memorial Arboretum to pay their respects to members of the Armed Forces who never returned home.

Bispham’s Arboretum is surrounded by fields and has a peaceful nature about it due to its newly planted trees and commemorative plaques, which instantly demand the respect they deserve.

Ernie Howe, 68, chairman of the Royal Corps of Signals Association, Blackpool branch, said: “This whole week is about memories of all the lads we knew and lost.

“It’s a tribute to all of them and they should never be forgotten.

“It’s the pinnacle of the year for us in Blackpool and a lot of work goes into organising it.”

John Clark, 61, standard bearer of the Royal Corps of Signals Association, Blackpool Branch, said: “Blackpool is a massive pioneer for the Armed Forces week and it gives us all the opportunity to remember our lost ones.”

Yesterday’s service also praised the work of council staff and inmates of HMP Kirkham who spent a number of weeks repairing the gardens after downpours left them inhospitable.

Meanwhile, St Annes is preparing to pay tribute to their soldiers with a range of events on Sunday.

Ashton Pavilion will be transformed into a NAAFI cafe, while brass band and barbershop singers’ performances will recall the sounds of 1914 as Armed Forces Day takes place in St Annes’ Ashton Gardens on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.

St Annes mayor Ed Nash, who is also president of Fylde Veterans, said: “It is a very special year with August marking 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, so we are keen to particularly pay tribute to that, but we want young people to come along and join in the activities as well as seeing what the Armed Forces are all about.”