Seahaven Veterans’ and Armed’ Forces Day attracts the crowds

Seaford Armed Forces Day on Martello Fields ''APO26023 ''Sam White [14] Newhaven Army Cadet.
Seaford Armed Forces Day on Martello Fields ''APO26023 ''Sam White [14] Newhaven Army Cadet.
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Hundreds of visitors enjoyed good weather when they attended Seahaven Veterans’ and Armed Forces’ Day in Seaford on Saturday June 29.

The annual event, which is organised by Seaford Town Council and the Seahaven branch of the Royal Society of St George, included a fun fair and mini tanks.

But Ralph Taylor, from Seaford Quakers, said suggesting to children and young people through an event disguised as family fun, that armed conflict was desirable or glamorous was giving the wrong message.

Seaford Quakers organised a peace vigil on Saturday June 29 in the Crouch Gardens to coincide with the event.

Seahaven Royal Society of St George branch chairman Bob Peedle MBE said: “What a wonderful day.

“So many people made a great effort to help the event go so well, especially those from Seaford Town Council as well as our own St George’s members.

“The support from so many organisations and spectators, as well as the turn out of veterans and cadets, were a major factor in the day’s success.”

The day at the Martello Fields included arena displays from Seaford Rock and Jazz Band, a flyball dog display, Seaford Lifeguards, Up the Tempo Dance Group and a drill display by Newhaven Air Training Corps and Army Cadet Force.

A parade including veterans was staged.

The salute was taken by Lord Lieutenant Peter Field, Seaford mayor Anthony White and president of the Seahaven Branch of The Royal Society of St George, Don Mabey MBE.

And the Tavern in a Tent was provided by the town’s two rotary clubs.

But in a letter to the Sussex Express last week, Ralph Taylor, from Seaford Quakers, said: “Personally I feel nauseated by this combination of jingoistic flag waving and military hardware with child friendly features such as fun fair and musical entertainment.

“Armed Forces Day is a recent invention, designed to create a wave of public sympathy for the armed forces which will obscure the tragedy of lives lost and the high cost of foreign military adventures such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“There will always be conflicts of interest, whether between people or nations, but the best way to settle these conflicts is through discussion and negotiation, not by the use of force.

“To suggest to children and young people, through an event disguised as “family fun,” that armed conflict is either desirable or glamorous is giving out the wrong message here.” Turn to page 18 for more pictures.