D Day veteran Ted leading Sunday's Padiham on Parade

A Padiham D Day veteran will proudly lead Sunday's celebratory parade around his hometown.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 12:08 pm
Ted (centre, seated) at a Padiham Remembrance event.

Ted Davidson (93), a former tank driver who landed at Normandy's Sword Beach 18 days after D-Day, will lead Padiham on Parade on Sunday.

The event is a two-day celebration packed with free 1940s-inspired entertainment, including a military vehicles display, period re-enactors, live music, stalls, a fashion show, a beer tent and street food.

Ted said: "I'm very proud to lead the parade. It's very satisfying to do it at my age. The event is well supported and hundreds of people turn out for it, which is nice to see."

Ted Davidson (93), a former tank driver who landed at Normandy's Sword Beach 18 days afterD-Day, will lead Padiham on Parade on Sunday.

Kitty Lamare, The Barsby Belles, and a George Formby tribute act will be among the stellar musical acts entertaining the crowds on Saturday by the town hall. There will also be clog dancing, craft making, birds of prey, Punch and Judy shows and so much more.

Sunday's programme will start with a wreath-laying ceremony at the town’s war memorial at 10am. It will be followed by a uniformed parade to the town hall where a Service of Remembrance will take place. Children will have another chance to see birds of prey and a Punch and Judy show while Bands in the Park will entertain from 2pm to 4pm at Padiham Memorial Park and there will be an awe-inspiring RAF flyover at 2-30pm.

The day will be extra special for Ted because his granddaughter, opera singer Grace O'Malley, will give a stunning performance on the steps of the town hall, along with Padiham Community Choir.

"It's good of her to do it as she's studying at the Royal College of Music at the moment so she's come all the way from London for it," Ted said.

Ted (top, third from left) with his comrades.

"Grace loves doing it. She's got an incredible voice and she's getting better.

"She supports Remembrance every year in November and she's raised loads of money for charity since she started performing concerts at 12 years old. We tried to figure out the total and it must be around £250,000."

It will be the second special Remembrance event in the summer for Ted, who returned to the Normandy coastline earlier this month to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

The operation was a sea and air attack on Normandy’s beaches on June 6th, 1944, with the aim of liberating France from German control. Code-named Operation Overlord, it saw allied British, US, Canadian and French forces land on assault zones named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

During the Voyage of Remembrance trip, Ted met other D Day veterans and took part in activities honouring the men who served at the Landings.

"It was the first time I'd been back since the war and it was very emotional," Ted said.

"I laid a wreath for nearly all my regiment as there's only three of us left."

Padiham on Parade runs from 10am to 8pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Free parking is available in the town centre.

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Road closure information for this weekend's Padiham on Parade