Ellesmere’s Mayor paid tribute to the dedication and professionalism of Britain’s servicemen and women on Saturday.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark Armed Forces Day at Ellesmere Town Hall, Councillor Anne Wignall said the public owed a great debt of gratitude to those who served in the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force particularly for their recent work in supporting the NHS through the Covid pandemic and in providing support to Ukraine.

“The UK Armed Forces serve Queen and Country to defend these islands and Britain’s interests,” she said.

"They are busy working around the world, supporting Nato, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism. At any time they can be sent into a war zone with all the consequences that means for their families. For some, service comes at a great cost.”

She said Armed Forces Day was an opportunity to show support and give a much-valued morale boost to the troops and their loved ones.

"Here in Ellesmere, we are extremely grateful for everything they do, protecting the peace and enabling us to live a quality of life that millions of people across the world simply could not imagine."

The Mayor also thanked the Ellesmere and District branch of the Royal British Legion for its outstanding work and support in the community throughout the year.

“We are very fortunate to have them,” she added.

Legion members lined up outside the town hall as Legion branch chairman Bob McBride called the parade to attention and Councillor Wignall raised the Armed Forces Day flag. Prayers were led by the Vicar of Ellesmere, the Rev Pat Hawkins.

The ceremony follows the 40th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War which was was commemorated in Ellesmere with a short service at the town’s war memorial in the grounds of St Mary’s parish church.

Town councillors and members of the public joined representatives of the Ellesmere branch of the Royal British Legion as a bugler played Last Post to mark two minutes silence.