A SEA of red and white flags, bunting and smiling faces descended on Emsworth to show respect for the military.
Crowds took to the town square to catch an eagerly-awaited glimpse of troops from Thorney Island’s 12 Regiment and 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, who were joined by Korean war veterans for the annual St George’s Day parade.
This year marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean war, with a host of veterans marching during the prestigious event, who were presented with red roses by commanding officer Nick Sawyer for their service.
Troops were greeted with an electric atmosphere and a whole host of well-wishers waving red and white flags to mark St George’s Day.
Emsworth businesses also got into the St George’s Day spirit with decorated bunting lining their eye-catching shop fronts.
Residents from all generations took to Emsworth’s streets to see the procession, some of whom had visited from Emsworth House Nursing and Residential Care Home.
Havant borough councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to the veterans of the Korean war in their 60th anniversary. We have managed to assemble 40 or 50 of them and, of course our friends and neighbours, the men and women from 47 and 12 regiments of Thorney Island who are here today to give us an opportunity of saying thank you for their dedication and determination.”
Leading the parade was commanding officer Nick Sawyer who gave thanks to both regiments and war veterans, alongside mayor of Havant, Gerald Shimbart and Simon Sayer, rector of Emsworth.
“It’s great because it’s us. The older ones appreciate it and it is nice to see some of the younger schoolchildren being taught about it and starting to take an interest. I am very proud, it is a good day,” said Sidney Smith of the British Korean Veterans Association.
“We should be trying to celebrate and support those who are fighting in Afghanistan. I think these traditional celebrations are wonderful,” said Mrs Elizabeth Martin, 79, from Emsworth.
And chests puffed with pride as more than 500 Scouts from across the area marched through the historic streets of Arundel on Sunday.
The town came to a standstill as young people, aged between six and 25, from the Arundel and Littlehampton Scout district paraded from Arundel Castle up to the cathedral as part of the organisation’s annual St George’s Day celebrations.