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UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Weymouth shows wartime spirit for Armed Forces Day
CROWDS flocked to Weymouth today for this year’s annual Armed Forces Day celebrations.
Events this weekend also commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.
Armed Forces Day was expanded for the first time this year to include the Weymouth at War event and a wide range of different events and activities were on offer to the public.
An all-day militaria fair took place at Weymouth Pavilion, a historic military vehicle display was held along the Esplanade, music was performed by concert bands and an evening of 1940s dance was hosted at Weymouth Pavilion.
One of the highlights of the day was the beach assault and bridge building by the Royal Engineers from midday.
Hundreds of visitors to the event lined up along the seafront to watch servicemen ‘invade’ Weymouth beach and Weymouth and Portland’s Mayor Kate Wheller also attended the event, meeting some of the re-enactors on the beach.
A Weymouth at War event also took place in Hope Square where visitors could mingle with World War Two land girls and soldiers in the square, where a replica police station was situated.
Wartime-themed music was also provided throughout the day by The Decadettes and Memphis Belle.
In the afternoon a military convoy of about 60 vehicles set off from the Esplanade in Weymouth to Castletown, Portland.
The day’s events were rounded off in spectacular style as an iconic Spitfire flew over Weymouth beach in the afternoon, entertaining the crowds.
Osprey Leisure Centre in Portland also joined in with commemorations, hosting the military vehicle display once the convoy from Weymouth arrived.
Portland Castle displayed a special exhibition of photos and letters from a Fleet Naval Clerk who was actually based at Portland during the war.
Events continue on Sunday with an open air church service at the British Cenotaph at 11am, followed by a Veterans Parade and convoy on the seafront.
An estimated 30,000 people are expected to turn up for the Veteran’s Day Parade.
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