WAR veterans paraded through Burton yesterday as the village celebrated its annual Armed Forces and Veterans Day.
The parade, accompanied by the Ringwood Pipe Band, started at Burton Primary School just after lunchtime on Sunday, proceeding around the village before marching up Salisbury Road to the green.
There, a service was led by Canon John Turpin of Christchurch Priory, alongside HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell and mayor of Christchurch Cllr Denise Jones.
The villagers gathered round got an unexpected treat as the Red Arrows passed overhead.
Burton Parish Council chairman Judy Jamieson thanked all involved and said: “It was a record crowd on the village green and the highlight was the Red Arrows flying over. That was fantastic, the icing on the cake.”
Parish councillor Claire Wade added: “It was absolutely perfect timing, and they came right over the green.”
With this year’s event perhaps the most poignant in its eight-year history as a result of milestone anniversaries of both the outbreak of the First World War and D-Day, there was entertainment for old soldiers and villagers alike into the evening.
Burton council has said that, with the campaign in Afghanistan drawing to a close, this latest event would likely be the last in its current format, as it was set up to send a message to serving troops.
Earlier this year, the organisers were left disappointed when they missed out on financial support as the date of the event was one week outside the window allowed by the government, despite it meeting all the other criteria.