Fury over lack of tribute in Leeds to Armed Forces

David Marshall.
David Marshall.
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A veterans’ charity has slammed council chiefs for the “disgusting” decision not to hold any events in Leeds to mark Armed Forces Day.

While neighbouring authorities in Wakefield and Bradford will be hosting parades and family friendly events on June 29, Yorkshire’s biggest city will not play host to a single official celebration on the day.

Instead the council say The Rifles Regiment will go on a freedom parade through the city today, a full week before the official Armed Forces Day itself.

David Marshall, 78, chairman of the Leeds branch of the Royal British Legion said he was baffled by the decision.

He told the YEP: “It’s disgusting really. As far as we’re aware there’s nothing at all in Leeds. We’ve had things in the past and last year we had an event at The Armouries, with some help from them but for some reason Leeds City Council will not support it.”

Mr Marshall, who served with the 10th Royal Hussars in Jordan during the Suez Crisis said the local RBL would be attending the full day of events at Nostell Priory in Wakefield. But he said he believed the people of Leeds would want an event to call their own.

He added: “For a city the size of Leeds, we should have something ourselves.”

Chris Kirkness, whose son David, 24, was killed while serving with The Rifles in Afghanistan 2009 said: “There’s usually some event, and I’m very surprised something hasn’t been organised.”

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said: “We continue to be fully supportive of the Armed Forces Day celebrations which are happening all over the country in the course of the next week.

“In Leeds we will be proudly flying the Armed Forces Day flag over Civic Hall all week and the focus of our celebrations will be the parade by The Rifles Regiment today. “We would encourage people of all ages to come along to offer our thanks and support as a city.”

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