The small town of Mirfield in West Yorkshire has a reputation once reported in the national press as ‘traditionally the biggest Remembrance Day parade, which attracts thousands of people every year’.
In this centenary year of remembrance Mirfield did not disappoint and put on something above its usual show on 11th November. At 2.00pm (the Mirfield parade is always in the afternoon) a tremendous assembly of dignitaries, serving and ex-serving military personnel, marching bands, Army Cadets, Air Cadets, Scouts, Guides and members of the public who just wanted to march, set off from Lowlands Road to the town’s war memorial in Ings Grove Park.
The parade itself took around 9 minutes to pass, and was led by police vehicles, a fire engine, and the Royal British Legion Bikers Division. As the parade passed through the town centre the pavements on both sides were packed with many hundreds of applauding well-wishers.
At the war memorial the local clergy held a special commemorative service to a congregation which must have numbered in their thousands. Commemorative wreaths were laid by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Iqbal Bhana, MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield Paula Sherrif, Councillor Martyn Bolt, on behalf of the Mayor of Kirklees and Mayor of Mirfield Martin Ibberson, they were followed by representatives of the armed forces and all major community groups. Francis Dudley, an ex-member of 868 (Mirfield) Squadron read out a poem he had written when he was still a cadet.
After the service the parade returned through the streets of Mirfield to further applause of onlookers, and a salute was taken by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant.
Throughout the proceedings, 868 (Mirfield) Squadron was well represented. In addition to being the largest single contingent within the parade, their cadets formed the entirety of the standard bearer party, their corps of drums led the third column of the parade and two cadets brought up the rear carrying giant poppies.
Squadron Commander Flight Lieutenant Peter Doubell commented: “I was so proud of the attendance and turn-out in support of the Mirfield Remembrance Day Parade: not only was our squadron a large and significant part of the overall parade, our cadets did a commendable job as standards bearers, and our band led number three column to great effect, with Corporal Pugh and Bartey marking the tail-and of the parade.
“This year’s parade was immense, I don’t think the town centre has never been so packed! Everyone fitted so well into the mood of commemoration, you were inspiring!”
Report by Flight Lieutenant P Doubell, 868 (Mirfield) Squadron, South & West Yorkshire Wing ATC
Mirfield Air Cadets meet at the Air Cadet Centre in Mirfield on Huddersfield Road near the Stocks Bank Road junction, on Tuesday and Friday evenings. For more information please contact Flt Lt Peter Doubell on 01924 498 896 (parade evenings only). To learn more about the air cadets click here