SERVICEMEN, veterans and families gathered for the poignant unveiling of two lasting tributes to a Fylde coast war hero and an armed forces campaigner.
The crowd at the Fylde Memorial Arboretum in Bispham bowed their heads as a tree and plinth was dedicated to father-of-two Sgt Nigel Coupe, who died in an explosion in Afghanistan, in March.
A bower and bench, in memory of former councillor and veterans’ campaigner Jim Houldsworth, was also unveiled as his widow, Jackie, proudly looked on.
Julian Mineur, project manager of the Supporting Our Brave shop in Blackpool, said: “I think Jackie was quite taken aback by the bower.
“It’s a place for quiet reflection, quiet and solitude.”
Mr Houldsworth, a former Marton councillor who worked hard to build Blackpool’s reputation as the home of the Armed Forces, died in March aged 70, after a battle with cancer.
High-ranking officers from the 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and the 12th Regiment Royal Artillery joined the service at the arboretum, off Moor Park Avenue.
Pupils from Moor Park Primary School’s choir sang gospel music and plaques were dedicated to the Women’s Royal Naval Service and HMS Penelope, which Blackpool adopted during the Second World War.