MP Jack joins Staple Hill Armed Forces Day march
Published on: 14 Aug 2015
THEY came in their hundreds to honour Britain’s armed forces at a special event at Page Park.
People from across South Gloucestershire watched a parade of veterans, cadets, bands and military vehicles set off from the Royal British Legion, travelled through Staple Hill and finished at the historic park where a drumhead ceremony, performed by the Reverend Teresa Taylor, took place.
Among those marching was Staple Hill MP and army veteran Jack Lopresti. Mr Lopresti was a gunner with 266 Commando Battery, based in Whiteladies Road. He also served with 29 Commando RA where he was deployed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Also present was local charity fundraiser and singer Frankie Johns, whose real name is John Billiterri.
John pledged to collect one million pennies - or £10,000 - for Help for Heroes by cycling around the city with a trailer highlighting the cause.
As well as collecting pennies during the event, John also performed at the bandstand.
He said: “It was a great day. It was particularly memorable as 2015 marks the centenary of World War One and also the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
“The response from everyone to my appeal was brilliant. I raised about £140. People knew I’d be there and made a point of bringing me bags with pennies in. It was brilliant.
“I’m up to nearly 630,000 pennies - or £6,300 and I’m absolutely delighted with that.”