The sun shone down on Armed Forces Day at the weekend so that families were able to enjoy to the full a day filled with entertainment.
Spectacular air displays included an RV- 8 performing daring aerobatics and releasing huge plumes of smoke and a vintage Spitfire and Hurricane.
Military personnel past and present and their families filled the fields at Aylesbury Rugby Club on Saturday when The RAF Halton Wives Choir, The Swingrave Lindy Hoppers and The Memphis Belles were amongst those performing on the stage, the tea tent and the arena.
The choir was formed in 2012 and all the members have a connection to the military, being daughters, wives, mothers or partners of men who are serving now or are veterans. They sang a selection of familiar songs including You Lift Me Up.
Choir lead Donna Pearson said: “We can struggle sometimes to keep our emotions under check, the most difficult song to sing is Wherever You Are because it is the most well known to the public, it is hard to sing and the words mean an awful lot. But our choir was brought together to enable us to support one another through singing, it’s like a big family.”
Cllr Jenny Bloom, chairman of Aylesbury Vale District Council, was at the day in her official capacity wearing her chain of office, but she also took the opportunity to join in the freestyle numbers with The Swingrave Lindy Hoppers, a tea dance club she belongs to. She said: “We have a lot to thank our service personnel for and this is our way of saying thank you to them and their families.”
Luke Delahunty, 43, was a member of the RAF Regiment for eight years but had to leave after breaking his back in a motorbike accident while on his way to work when he was just 24. He now lives in Aylesbury and works as an educator in the spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
He said: “I joined the air cadets at 13, it was my introduction to the military. I liked the camaraderie and adventure. I joined the RAF Regiment when I was 17 and went to Europe, served in Germany for three years, and served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland.
“I’m very much a black and white guy and I knew I couldn’t do my job any more after my accident. I was a soldier, an infantryman. That was one life and then I started another life. It’s my nature to be jolly, I nearly died in the crash, I’d rather be like this than dead.
“The Armed Forces Day is brilliant. I love to see so many people supporting the military.”
Other entertainment included a First World War Tank Performance, fun fair, a demonstration from the Canine Partners, Katie’s Jumping Fleas ukulele band and singer songwriter Gemma Aguilar.
Princes Risborough ska tribute band Skasouls UK wound up the event with a set on the main stage towards the end of the day.