A PRAYER for those who died fighting in the Far East was offered at this year’s Pagham on Parade.
The area’s vicar, the Rev Mark Eminson, led a drumhead service during the annual community event held a day after the 70th anniversary of VJ Day.
He said: “We give thanks to God for our freedom and relative peace in these days despite the threat of terror.
“Particularly this year, for the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, we remember those who served there and were held prisoners and gave their lives.”
He gave a short reading from the gospel of Matthew and read out the names of the 15 Pagham men who died in the second world war.
Pagham Parish Council chairman Cllr Ray Radmall followed this by laying a poppy wreath on the drums.
A minute’s silence was observed and the standard of the Royal British Legion was paraded.
The short service of remembrance at Sunday’s event was attended by seven band members of the Nautical Training Corps from TS Sturdy and TS Montrose.
They gave a musical display next before the arena entertainment was ended by the RAFA Skiffle Band.
Previous performers had been Mad About Dogs with a four-legged agility display, Southern rockers Bullett and the Bognor Regis International Dance Ensemble with their traditional European dancing and colourful costumes.
The occasion at Pagham Village Hall also featured some 70 classic and military vehicles. They included a 1927 Willys Whippet 4 Roadster from Canada, a 1935 Morris 8 and a 1969 VW Beetle.
There were also nine vintage motorcycles and a host of indoor and outdoor stands from charities and community groups.
Among them were the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Cat and Rabbit Rescue Centre, Pagham and District Residents’ Association and Aldwick and Pagham Scouts.
The event, attended by several thousand, has been held each August since 2004 by the parish council.
Cllr Radmall said it had again proved a popular day and had brought the community together.
“It’s been a wonderful day, We’ve had a good crowd, a significant number of fantastic vehicles, a good turnout of charity stands, and the catering volunteers have been working flat out in the hall.
“It’s good to have the military aspect to this. To me, the service and the vicar’s prayers are the most important part of the day,” he said.
A change of plans for parking because the usual field was unavailable had been overcome, he said, by offering an alternative parking site as well as asking drivers to park sensibly on the adjoining Pagham Road.
Entry to the day was free but donations of at least 50p were encouraged to be given to a range of local charities.
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