Call to arms to remember Lancashire's heroes of WW2
Armed forces veterans are being mobilised to give coronavirus its marching orders in the build-up to the 75th anniversary of VE Day next month.
Even though events to mark the milestone on May 8 have been put on hold due to the pandemic, Preston’s Parade Marshal Michael Nutter wants ex-servicemen and women across Britain to ensure it isn’t forgotten.
So during the Covid-19 lockdown the former Scots Guards Warrant Officer is urging others to make certain local war memorials are looking their best for the big day.
Helped by good friend David Moore, an ex-Royal Marine, Michael went into action on his daily walk by tidying up the monument near his home in Lostock Hall - both men were observing social distancing rules and wearing face masks and gloves.
And the idea has ignited interest on social media with other veterans responding by sprucing up those in Preston, Penwortham, Longridge and Grimsargh.
“Who knows, maybe this initiative could catch on nationwide,” said Michael, who left the Army five years ago after 24 years serving Queen and country.
“As Parade Marshal for the city of Preston it is my responsibility to co-ordinate remembrance and civic parades.
"I can’t do that for VE Day next month because what was planned has had to be postponed. But I still feel it is my duty to do something.
"I need to step up. So getting memorials ready for the anniversary would be a great way to mark it. It would raise morale at what is a worrying time for everyone."
Michael served with the Scots Guards in Germany, had four tours of duty in Northern Ireland and also fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was awarded a commendation for “distinguished service” in Afghanistan in 2010.