VETERANS of the Army, RAF, and Merchant Navy were among those paying their respects during a Remembrance Sunday parade in Peterlee.
Several residents from Bannatyne Lodge Care Home, on Manor Way, lined the street outside the town’s St Cuthberts Parish Church as a memorial parade passed by.
The day prompted many to share their memories of their military service, as well as pay their respects to family and friends who had served.
Among them was Ronald Fraser, 89, who served in the RAF between 1951-53. Following his basic training in England, he was deployed to Iraq and recalls the death of King George VI while he was overseas. He returned home the day before Queen Elizabeth’s coronation on 2nd June 1953.
At the Peterlee parade, Ronald said: “I feel proud to be here to represent Bannatyne Lodge as well as the people who served with me.
“I’m thrilled to see so many still take part in Remembrance Sunday.”
Fellow resident John Lambert, 88, was also at the event and recalled his time in the Army between 1952-55. Having joined in his early 20s, he spent his military career in Paris, driving around American officers, and then in Perth, Scotland, driving Army personnel. He later joined the Post Office.
He said: “I enjoyed my time in the Army. It was the best job I had. I was very proud to serve.
“I enjoyed watching the parade and being part of the day.”
Brian Barton, 82, served for many years in the Merchant Navy, as third engineer on a ship called The Baldwin Brian.
He said: “I made some good friends and had some good times in the Merchant Navy. I’d do it all again and would go back tomorrow.
“The parade and service at Peterlee made me think back to my days in the Navy and my old pals.”
For resident Richard Jones the occasion was an opportunity to remember members of his own family who had served. Among them were his brother, Paul, who served in the Army’s Blues and Royals cavalry regiment, and uncle, William, who was in the Merchant Navy and served during the Falklands War.
Richard said: “The service in Peterlee was very emotional, especially when the Last Post was played and seeing the veteran soldiers in the parade.”
Julie Armstrong, home manager at Bannatyne Lodge Care Home, said: “Many of our residents have spent time in the military or have family and friends who served.
“Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for them to pay their respects, share their memories, and talk about their experiences, and for many it can be very cathartic.
“For Richard, John, Brian, and Ronald, watching the parade go past St Cuthbert’s was an emotional experience and one they were proud to share.”