Honouring the town’s heroes

Armed Forces Day in Hailsham JPSE
Armed Forces Day in Hailsham JPSE

Residents across Hailsham and Polegate turned out to honour military personnel in Armed Forces Day events over the weekend.

In Hailsham more than 60 people gathered at the War Memorial for a service to honour the country’s men and women.

The event on Sunday (June 30) was organised by the Royal British Legion.

It saw representatives from Wealden District Council, and the Mayor of Hailsham attend and honour the country’s armed forces.

The service was led by a priest from St Mary’s Church in Hailsham.

Mike Weller, chairman of the Royal British Legion Hailsham Branch, said the day had been a great success.

He said: “It went really well. It was a good day and the weather was also really good for us.

“There were around 60 people there on the day and we were really pleased so many people chose to come out and support us.

“We had a collection going on there for the Poppy Appeal and I think we raised around £80 on the day which was very good.

“We had a minister from St Mary’s Church lead the service for us.

“We were very grateful to the church, because I have been away out of the country, the padre is in Canada and we were lucky the church said it would step in and deliver the service.

“We are very thankful to them.”

Mr Weller said he thought there was a lot more awareness about the dangers personel face and support for the country’s troops.

He said: “I think they realise that the job that they have to do has dangers and they have to face them every day.

“I think there is a lot more respect for the armed forces and an increase in support.”

Mr Weller announced at the service that the Poppy Appeal had raised its target amount.

He said: “We would quite like to thank everyone that contributed. It has been really good and we wouldn’t have got there without them.”

In Polegate residents gathered to watch the flag being raised on Monday (July 1). The standard bearer and other British Legion members also attended on the day. The service was led by Reverend David Cooke and a bugler played the last post. The Mayor of Polegate Cllr Malcolm Cunningham attended the flag raising.

Last Monday (June 24) the Deputy Mayor of Polegate, Cllr John Harmer, attended the flag raising ceremony which marked the beginning of Armed Forces Week.

The official Armed Forces Day was on Saturday (June 29).