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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Parade to mark centenary of First World War will go ahead

DETAILS of a parade marking the centenary of the start of the First World War have been revealed.

The area looked set to miss out on a ceremonial event until local veteran associations stepped in.

While UK councils were given the option to apply for funding to hold parades, concerts and services, Barrow Borough Council opted not to commemorate the occasion.

Plans for an event were mooted but eventually dropped, leaving the Tri Service Veterans – made up of the Barrow Submariners Association, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment Association and the Royal Air Force Association – with the support of the Royal British Legion, to organise and pay for.

The group’s chairman, Dave Barlow, who is also chairman of Barrow Submariners Association, said: “We were a bit disappointed they elected not to do anything, despite the government making funds available for councils to apply for. We had been asking what they planned to do for about a year, but it wasn’t until about February or March when they made the decision. So we got together and asked ‘what are we going to do?’

“To be fair, they put all the appropriate permissions in place and helped organise things like the policing and making Barrow Park available, but we still have to foot the bill.”

The parade will take place on August 3, the day before the centenary, and will follow the route from Barrow Town Hall and along Abbey Road to Barrow Park – acknowledging the war memorials at Ramsden Square and Coronation Gardens with an “eyes left” salute. A short service led by Alan Jones, the lay chaplain of the Submariners Association, will take place at the cenotaph before the parade heads to the British Legion club, in Holker Street, for refreshments and a Steelworks Band performance.

“The cenotaph dates back to the First World War, so it seemed the most appropriate place to hold it,” said Mr Barlow.

“The parade will follow the route of the Remembrance Day parade, and we will lay four wreaths – one for each association and the British Legion – before the short service.

“Even though there are no First World War vets across our three associations, we still feel it is important to mark the date.”

The mustering will start at 10am outside the town hall. All are welcome for refreshments at the British Legion afterwards.

Phil Huck, the council’s executive director, was unavailable for comment.

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