A 100-year-old veteran was one of the Melton people who paid special tributes to our armed forces on Monday on an annual day of national celebration.
Jim Posnett, who served with the army during the Second World War, took part in a ceremony with his daughter-in-law, Pam Posnett, in her role as chair of Leicestershire County Council.
Jim, who still lives independently at home in the town, raised the official Armed Forces Day flag outside County Hall, in Leicester, following a short service.
Pam, who made a welcome speech to attendees, who included serving members of the military and the Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur, told the Melton Times: “I was so proud to take part in the event with my father-in-law - it was a really special day.
“Jim did say afterwards it was one of the best days he had ever had.”
Jim joined the Leicester Regiment in 1940 and he served in India, Burma and Java. He was en route to Singapore but when the Japanese invaded his regiment was diverted to India.
He has always attended ceremonies for Armed Forces Day and took part in Remembrance Sunday parades until he was 95. His wife Doreen now lives at Egerton Lodge nursing home.
Jim’s son, Gareth, and daughter, Amanda, were also with him at Monday’s flag-raising event, which concluded with prayers led by the Rev Dr Peter Hooper.
Other guests included veterans, cadets, representatives from the Royal British Legion and local schoolchildren.
The Posnett family celebrated afterwards at Melton pub, The Boat, where they also watched local television news coverage of their involvement in the Armed Forces Day event.
Pam added: “There was a football match on the television in The Boat and the landlord turned it over when the news came on.
“There were a few moans and groans from people watching the game but then when they saw Jim on the screen they all started clapping him and shaking his hand.
“That moment really put the top hat on a great day for us.”
Pam, who is armed forces champion for the county council and who started the thriving monthly social breakfasts for veterans in the borough, added: “It was a great honour and privilege to be part of this national event to honour our armed forces and to show our appreciation for their vital service and dedication. “Armed Forces Day is a way for us to join with people across the country to show our support for those men and women who currently serve and to remember those who have served in the past.”
Members of the serving military, veteran organisations and civic leaders gathered in Melton on the same day for the borough’s ceremony to mark national Armed Forces Day.
Mayor of Melton, Councillor Malise Graham, assisted RAF policeman Sgt Melvin Whyte, who has also served operationally in the Falkland Islands and Afghanistan as a dog handler, to raise a flag on behalf of the borough.
Guests were formally welcomed by Councillor Graham and a short service and blessing of the armed forces flag was taken by Father Peter Moseling.
Members of the public were also in attendance at the event, which took places outside the borough council offices, off Burton Road.
In this 75th anniversary year of the D-Day landings, military organisations were represented, with handlers and dogs from the town’s Defence Animal Training Regiment.
A parade was also held and led by WO2 (RQMS) Paul Joblin, with members of the town branches of the Royal British Legion and Royal Air Force Association also taking part and carrying standards.