CASTLE Point residents came out in force to celebrate the men and women who fight for our country.

Canvey Town Council organised a fun-filled day of activities to mark Armed Forces Day and thank military personnel, past and present.

The celebrations started on Saturday with a parade from Castle View School, in Folksville Road, through the town centre, to the Paddocks community centre, in Long Road.

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It was led by the island’s Air Training Corps band, and featured veterans, Chelsea pensioners, Air and Army Cadets and Armed Forces personnel.

Traffic came to a standstill and onlookers waved flags, handed out by the council.

Rev David Tudor, from St Anne’s, St Katherine’s and St Nicholas’ churches, later led a thanksgiving service at the Paddocks war memorial.

The service featured touching speeches and music from Canvey Community Choir and the Band of the Queen’s Division, based at RAF Henlow, in Cambridge.

Peter May, chairman of Canvey Town Council, said: “It was absolutely fabulous.

“Lots of people turned out and it was across all generations.

Everyone was involved and it was a real community event.

“Armed Forces Day makes us remember what we have achieved.

“It is a real celebration for the people of Canvey.”

The fun continued into the afternoon.

Guests at the community centre enjoyed a wartime exhibition, featuring historic items collected by the Bay Museum, South Essex Amateur Radio Society, Canvey Community Archive, Canvey Transport Museum, and the Western Front Association.

This was the sixth consecutive year an Armed Forces Day celebration has taken place on the island.

  • For a gallery of pictures from Armed Forces Day events across south Essex, click here​