Oldcastle Primary School pupil Joe Elliott had the honour of raising Bridgend’s Armed Forces Day flag ahead of a special parade that marched through Bridgend town on Saturday.
The flag is flown annually to show the local community’s pride and appreciation of its serving troops and veterans. Schoolboy Joe was invited by Major Wayne Morgan to take part in the ceremony after he organised his school’s Poppy Appeal last year, helping to raise more than £350.
Joe gave up every lunchtime and playtime for a week to run the school shop in aid of the appeal and even played ‘The Last Post’ on his trombone at the school’s Armistice assembly.
Explaining why he felt so inspired to support the Poppy Appeal, 11-year-old Joe said: “It is important that young people are aware of and understand the work of the armed forces. I often feel that the work of the armed forces, past and present, goes unnoticed. They work hard through protecting our country and the lives of people all over the world.”
Joe and Major Wayne Morgan joined veterans representing the Welsh Guards, Bridgend Veterans Association, Borneo and Malaya Veterans Association, Royal Welsh Regiment, Royal Naval Association and the Bridgend branch of the Royal British Legion for the flag raising event which was held in front of the council’s Civic Offices on Angel Street.
Also present were the Leader & Armed Forces Champion Cllr Mel Nott OBE, the Mayor of the County Borough Cllr Richard Young, Bridgend Constituency MP Madeleine Moon, Ogmore Constituency MP Huw Irranca-Davies and Ogmore Constituency AM Janice Gregory.
Cllr Nott said, “I am delighted that we maintain the annual tradition of flying this flag as a visible symbol of our support and appreciation for our serving troops, their families, cadets and veterans.”
Huw Irranca-Davies said, “It was an honour to attend the Bridgend Armed Forces Day flag raising ceremony and parade. It is of the utmost importance that we recognise and support the courageous work of our service men and women.”
“Well done to Joe Elliott for all of his hard work in organising Oldcastle Primary School’s Poppy Appeal. It is wonderful to see young people in Bridgend raising awareness and teaching each other about the work of our Armed Forces. I am delighted that Joe was able to take part in the flag raising ceremony”
The Armed Forces flag was flying up to and during Saturday’s Armed Forces Day, when a special parade led by the South Wales Police Band marched through Bridgend town centre. The parade marched through Queen Street and assembled at the front of the town’s War Memorial for a short service.