Safety first as Preston gets ready to mark VJ Day

Armed forces veterans will be under orders to put safety first when they go on parade in Preston to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day next week.

Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 7:00 am
Standard bearers on parade at a VJ Day service in Preston in 2017.

Face masks and strict social distancing measures will be the priority as the city celebrates the ending of the Second World War with a service on the Flag Market on Saturday August 15.

And organisers say they will have no hesitation calling off the event at the last minute if there is considered to be any risk to those taking part or watching.

“The health of veterans is paramount,” said retired Colonel David Waters, president of the Preston District Veterans’ Council.

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“And if there is the slightest chance that anyone might be put at risk by assembling on the day the event will be cancelled even at short notice, despite all the hard work that has gone into planning and organising it.

“I am looking forward to a great day, a memorable parade and a coming together of all the people of Preston in pride and respect for the ethos, standards and values that personify veterans, in particular the VIP veterans of WW2 who will be on parade with us.”

The service, in front of the War Memorial, will begin at 10.45am. City Mayor Coun David Borrow will greet participants along with Army padre Rev Andy Earl. There will be a reading by Col Russ Miller, Army Commander in the North West

There will be a minute’s silence and also contributions from David Banks, chairman of the Preston Veterans, and Col Waters.

Face masks are being provided by Broadway Pharmacy in Fulwood.