An Ilkeston soldier proudly fired this huge gun at the weekend to launch the national celebrations for Armed Forces Day.
Gunner Jake Weston, 20, was one of 16 volunteer servicemen to start the service with a ‘feu de joie’ –’fire of joy’ – from Nottingham Castle.
Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of the city, the Old Market Square and Victoria Embankment to mark the occasion.
More than 150 service personnel, two military bands and 14 horses from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery took part in the parade, as well as 90 marching cadets and veterans from across the UK, including here in the East Midlands.
The c elebrations were attended by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester on behalf of the Queen.
Although there were no official events here in Ilkeston, townsfolk witnessed the famous Red Arrows soar overhead, blasting out red, white and blue plumes of smoke as they flew past.
Jake, who serves with the 307 (South Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry Royal Horse Artillery) Battery Royal Artillery, based at Bulwell, started the event at 10.47am.
He was supported in the crowds by his proud family, including mum Joy, sister Gemma and Grandma and Granddad Jill and Tony.
Last week he told the ‘Tiser how proud he was to take part in the event.
“I joined the TA two years ago and I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to become involved in something like this,” he said.