Hundreds of residents of all ages came out in force in Ilkeston to watch a historic military ceremony to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.
The Beating Retreat ceremony, which took place in the Market Place, was organised by Erewash Borough Council and East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association to highlight the importance of reserve forces and their work alongside regular armed forces counterparts to serve our country here and on the front line across the world.
The event saw the 126 squadron of the Air Training Corps Rifle Drill Team and the Bikers’ Branch of the Royal British Legion perform displays, prior to the Beating Retreat ceremony, which was later performed by the Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers.
Cllr Chris Corbett, leader of Erewash Borough Council, said it was wonderful to see so many different generations at the ceremony.
“The rain kept off and it was great to be able to see the Market Place being used for such a ceremonial occasion — we should be very proud. I was very pleased to see so many members of the public there”
East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadet Association’s Derbyshire county chairman, Phil Giles OBE, helped to organise the event in conjunction with the council.
He said: “It was poignant that this event took place in the shadow of the Ilkeston cenotaph.
“I have received great feedback from many people and we feel privileged that Erewash Borough Council invited us to run the event in their community.”
The Beating Retreat ceremony is a tradition dating back to the 16th century and was first used to recall nearby patrolling units to their castle.
Also present were the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, recently appointed High Sheriff David Coleman and Mayor of Erewash, Cllr Val Clare, who thanked all those involved for their support at the memorable event.
Democratic and civic Officer at Erewash Borough Council, Sue Dunkley, added: “We were absolutely delighted with the response from the public to the occasion and reaction after the ceremony was 100 per cent positive.
“We believe that the sense of occasion touched all ages and everyone was appreciative for being able to come along and celebrate such a wonderful event.”