Armed Forces veterans were guests of honour at the annual tea dance event held at the Princes Theatre.
Organised by the Clacton branch of the Royal British Legion and supported by Tendring District Council (TDC), the Veterans’ Tea Dance saw the ex-Services personnel treated to food and drink, along with a war-time era performer to sing-along and dance to.
As always the event, held on Thursday, 15 September, began with a minute’s silence to remember the fallen, both those who died in active service and veterans no longer able to attend. In particular attendees remembered HM Queen Elizabeth II, who was not only Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force, but who served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War.
The event also included speeches by dignitaries, the Last Post and Reveille, and a playing of Sir Winston Churchill’s End of War speech.
Dan Casey, President of the Clacton Royal British Legion branch, said: “This event allows ex-Forces personnel, from many different services and eras, to spend time with people who have shared experiences and memories.
“It is also a way for us to say to them ‘thank you for your service’, which over the decades has protected our liberty today.”
TDC Chairman Peter Harris, who has chosen to support Forces and veterans’ groups during his year in office, said he felt honoured to attend.
“With my focus as Chairman I have been fortunate enough to already meet many of these veterans at our special events and services through the year, but this tea dance really gave me the opportunity to sit down with them and learn from their life,” Councillor Harris added.
“Perhaps most importantly I got to see another side of them from the, rightfully, sombre occasions of memorial services; and instead see the fun of dancing along to classic tracks.”