MORE than 100 ex-servicemen and cadets marched in a patriotic parade and were supported by hundreds of Hartlepool residents this morning.
Delighted organisers said the turn out for Saturday’s march and service to mark National Armed Forces Day was the biggest and best since the occasion was held for the first time six years ago.
Tug Wilson, secretary of the Hartlepool Combined Ex-Servicemen’s Association, which organises the annual march and service around the town’s Historic Quay, said: “Today was the biggest it’s ever been.
“Armed Forces Day is a chance to recognise the outstanding efforts of the soldiers who are still here.”
Mr Wilson said he thinks the barbaric murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich this year is one reason for the “brilliant” turn-out this morning as people took the opportunity to say thanks to the brave servicemen.
A number of Hartlepool councillors and the town’s MP Iain Wright were in attendance.
Mr Wright took to Twitter to say: “Want to say to our forces - thanks.
“You make our country a better and safer place to live.
“Our country is very proud of you.”
Full coverage of today’s parade and service will appear in Monday’s Mail with more updates on this website over the weekend.