Pictures by: Kerry Roberts

HUNDREDS of people in Holyhead are taking part in a special day celebrating the armed forces community.

The North Wales Armed Forces Day included a colourful parade through the town earlier today, Saturday, May 25.

The UK’s on-duty warship HMS St Albans also visited the port, allowing around 250 people a free tour.

During the day a special ceremony awarding the Freedom of the County to the Royal Navy Submarine Service was held.

The event was marked by parading members of the Armed Forces community and veterans, marching through the town.

The Royal Navy Submarine service is one of the three fighting arms of the Royal Navy. It is known as the silent service, as submariners must operate undetected.

A memorial is be held at 2pm, in memory of those who lost their lives aboard the Thetis submarine.

The ceremony, at the Maeshyfryd Cemetery, has been organised by Holyhead Maritime Museum and Holyhead Town Council.

HMS Thetis (N25) was a Group 1 T-class submarine which sank during trials in Liverpool Bay, on June 1, 1939.

Of the 99 people who died, 44 people were buried in a mass grave at Maeshyfryd.

The memorial also remembers those lost aboard HMS Thunderbolt. After the Thetis sank, it was later raised, refurbished and renamed the Thunderbolt. It later sank in the Mediterranean, on March 14, 1943, with loss of crew.

Anglesey’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Richard Dew, extended a warm welcome to the public and armed forces community.

He said, “The Isle of Anglesey County Council is delighted to be hosting this year’s North Wales Regional Armed Forces Day.”

“The visit of HMS St Albans and Freedom Ceremony forms an important part of the celebrations in Holyhead.

He added, “The day gives us an opportunity to show our appreciation of the work carried out by the Armed Forces and their continued commitment in keeping our country safe.”

Senior Royal Navy Officer in charge of submarines, Rear Admiral John Weale CB OBE also attended the Freedom Parade and inspected the Guard.

He said, “It’s a great honour for the Submarine Service to receive the Freedom of the Isle of Anglesey, especially as this is the year where the Royal Navy is celebrating 50 years of the Continuous At Sea Deterrent.

"I hope that the weekend of commemoration and celebrations will provide an excellent opportunity for members of the public to meet many members of the Armed Forces.

"Anglesey will be a wonderful backdrop for the Parade with one of our Type 23 frigates, HMS St Albans, alongside.

The Freedom Ceremony began on Newry Beach at 11am, followed by the parade.

Various activities are still being held at Newry Beach in Holyhead, and go on from 11am until 5pm.

They include an inflatable assault course, Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Royal Corps of Signals Band, weapon systems, field hospital and various other displays