Gun shots and cannon fire marks Artillery day in Worcester

3314676903 Paul Jackson 16.08.14 Worcester - Army Reserve Unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery Parade and Artillery Day. (9372311)

3314676904 Paul Jackson 16.08.14 Worcester - Army Reserve Unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery Parade and Artillery Day. (9372313)

3314676905 Paul Jackson 16.08.14 Worcester - Army Reserve Unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery Parade and Artillery Day. (9372315)

3314676906 Paul Jackson 16.08.14 Worcester - Army Reserve Unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery Parade and Artillery Day. (9372317)

3314676913 Paul Jackson 16.08.14 Worcester - Army Reserve Unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery Parade and Artillery Day. (9372335)

3314676918 Paul Jackson 16.08.14 Worcester - Army Reserve Unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery Parade and Artillery Day. (9372345)

3314676921 Paul Jackson 16.08.14 Worcester - Army Reserve Unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery Parade and Artillery Day. A Sexton WW2 self propelled gun. (9372351)

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GUNS and cannons were fired, tanks roamed the streets, and different generations of army personnel marched proudly alongside each other to celebrate Worcester's Royal Artillery Day.

Marking the 150th anniversary of the city's local Army Reserve unit, 214 (Worcestershire) Battery Royal Artillery, and the centenary of World War One, thousands of people turned out to support the troops.

A remembrance service took place at the Cathedral before it was opened up to allow troops to march through in a parade that went through the city centre.

Councillor Alan Amos, Mayor of Worcester, watched from outside the Guildhall as the parade passed by.

He said: "It's been wonderful to be celebrate the 214 Battery Royal Artillery - we're extremely proud of them. I am proud of our lads who service this city and country extremely well."

Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, also looked on after attending the morning service.

"I think it's a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the amazing sense of duty and the service of our reservists and I am proud of Worcester's Artillery Battery," he said.

Standing beside the hordes of people who were crowding the streets and applauding soldiers, tanks, cannons, guns, and a marching band as they went by, was 82-year-old Pat Barnes, of Southdown Road, in Blackpole, Worcester, who is one of two surviving members of the Woolwich Boys Battery. He said: "It's something to be proud of to think people still remember the things this long after the war. A lot of people don't remember though that when I was young, you could go in the army at 14."

The parade made its way to Pitchcroft racecourse where more army vehicles throughout the ages were on show as well as many charities ready to tell people about their experiences in war, battle, training, and how it all was during WWI and the differences with armed forces today.

Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, the country's most severely injured soldier to survive the war in Afghanistan, was manning the Pilgrim Bandits' stand in the vintage area of the show.

He received 75 injuries in combat, with 27 to his head, and has had to had both legs amputated above the knee.

Jason Jones, area co-ordinator for the charity, said he shouldn't have survived his injuries but having done so, he became a patron of the charity, which helps survivors and amputees who have returned home from combat by taking them on activities and adventures.

"When they leave hospital they have nothing and they often turn to drink and stuff so we throw them out of planes so they have something to do.

"It's amazing what these guys go through but they're so strong."

WWI and WWII cannons were fired in the middle of the racecourse and the RAF Falcons also jumped from planes in a parachute display over the site later in the day.

Comments (1)

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1:18pm Mon 18 Aug 14

julesnsinbad says...

Was an amazing day. So proud of our troops past and present. Proud to be army wife
Was an amazing day. So proud of our troops past and present. Proud to be army wife julesnsinbad
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