A former Manx Royal Marine, who was seriously injured by a suicide bomber while serving in Afghanistan, is returning to the Island this weekend to take part in Armed Forces Day.
Martin Peters will be joined by 11 serving Marines from 45 Commando, and the Steam Packet Company is proud to be able to assist with their travel to the Island.
Mr Peters, who now lives in Liverpool, was on patrol in Afghanistan when he was caught in the blast, suffering a badly broken leg and shrapnel wounds to the abdomen. He showed exceptional courage and determination to return to duty the following year, but sadly his injuries caught up with him and he was medically discharged from the Royal Marines last year.
The Armed Forces Day Parade along Douglas Promenades starts at 3pm on Sunday (June 28th) and will be followed by a service at the Villa Marina, after which there will be afternoon tea and an evening of entertainment.
The event has significance this year as the Island marks the 70th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day and World War II veterans will be among those participating in the parade and service.
Brigadier Norman Butler, Chairman of the Isle of Man Armed Forces Day Committee, said: ‘I’d like to place on record the appreciation of the Committee for the outstanding assistance once again provided by the Steam Packet Company in enabling the participation of 40 serving members of the Armed Forces in our ninth celebration of Armed Forces Day.
‘The genuine interest and support of the Company is worthy of the highest praise and is essential to the success of the day. It is particularly relevant this year, the 75th anniversary of the Dunkirk Evacuation when eight Steam Packet Company vessels carried 24,669 of the 338,000 soldiers rescued from the beaches: a miracle which made eventual victory possible.
‘Three Steam Packet vessels were sunk and 24 sailors lost their lives, 17 of whom were from the Isle of Man. The Steam Packet Company is very much a part of our Veteran's Community and the Merchant Navy is rightly deemed a part of the Armed Forces in War. We hope that the Manx public will turn out to support our Parade as it marches at 3pm from Regent Street to the Villa Marina.’
Mark Woodward, Steam Packet Company Chief Executive, said: ‘We are always happy and proud to support Armed Forces Day. It is a fitting tribute to all those who have served, and on behalf of the Company I congratulate the Armed Forces Day Committee and everyone involved who help make the day such a success each year.’