PEOPLE gathered in Wem as the town joined the rest of the country in celebrating Armed Forces Day.

A service took place outside St Peter and St Paul Church in Wem on Saturday, June 25 where officials, including the deputy mayor of the town, Councillor Rosemary Dodd paid tribute to both veterans and people currently serving in the British Armed Forces.

Wem has a strong connection with the armed forces due to it being located close to RAF Shawbury and a number of military families settling in the town.

Cllr Dodd thanked the military for the support gave, including during Covid-19.

She said: "We are also delighted that when leaving the military, personnel choose to live here, helping to enrich our community.

"We are also happy to welcome the children of personnel who attend our schools.

"Rarely, in our recent history has the British public owed so much to those in uniform whether manning Covid-19 testing stations or rolling out much needed vaccines across the country.

"Our armed forces have been on the frontlines in the fight against Covid-19.

"For this and all their service, we say thanks."

Neil Comerford is the standard bearer of the Wem Branch of the Royal British Legion and followed in the footsteps of his father who was in the legion.

He said:"It is an honour to be here. I have been doing the standard bearer for about three or four years.

"My father was in the British Legion, I followed on from there. Last year I went to the British Legion at Royal Albert Hall and represented Wem.

"If you look on the standard, we took it to Ypres in 2018.

"He would have been absolutely loving it that I am representing the British Legion in my hometown."

Christine Saxton is chairwoman of the Wem Branch of the Royal British Legion, served in the RAF for eight years and comes from a military family.

She said: "My father was full time light infantry and we travelled with him around the world, Singapore, Jamaica.

"He worked with the Singapore army just before they got their independence."

Christine said she believed Armed Forces Day helps remember people still serving on the frontline as well as veterans.

She added: "I think instead of just remembering those who have passed, it is nice to remember those who are still serving on the line of duty.

"These are the behind the scenes things you see like the RAF dropping things over in Poland or the forces with the Covid-19 outbreak.

"And coming in with ambulances.

"Without the service personnel today, we would not be protected."