October 14, 2021 5.13 pm

Cancelled veterans’ parade “an insult” to war heroes in Holbeach, says campaigner

“For as long as I live I shan’t forgive you”

Holbeach Parish Council have been called a “disgrace” after they decided to cancel the annual Remembrance Sunday parade in the town.

The annual event to honour the area’s veterans was cancelled earlier in the year after Holbeach Parish Council could not recruit trained marshals due to a shortage.

The council said that without 20 readily available marshals to safely manage the event, it was impossible to allow it to go ahead normally.

It will instead be held statically without a marching parade, and the decision came under immense scrutiny from the local residents.

Harold Payne, a local man who has spent years raising thousands of pounds for veterans over the years, slammed the council during a passionate speech on Monday.

He called the councillors a “disgrace” and said it was a “shame that on the final days of our veterans in our county, that we haven’t got the guts to let our veterans walk through our town.”

Harold is known for organising veteran trips to places they may have previously fought in, such as Normandy or sites in Belgium, and has been supporting veterans for over 30 years.

He said that many of the veterans he usually deals with have now died, and warned that this year’s service may well be the last for those who are still alive.

He ended his damning statement with: “For me, it is an insult and for as long as I live, I shan’t forgive you.”

Holbeach Parish Council said they had done all they could to allow the event to run this year, but shortages meant it would not be possible in a traditional format, though they assured people that “every effort” will be made to announce a full return in 2022.

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