Veterans and serving soldiers are being urged to take part in Sunday’s Veterans’ Day celebrations in Skipton.

Preparations began on Monday when a special flag, given to the district by the Ministry of Defence, was hoisted above Skipton Town Hall.

The ceremony, organised by Skipton Royal British Legion and attended by district and town leaders, included the sounding of the Last Post.

On Sunday, national Veterans’ Day, the flag will be brought down and handed to the district council chairman Coun David Crawford, who will then present it to Jim Surr – Craven’s oldest surviving former prisoner of war.

Sunday’s celebrations in Skipton are set to have a greater profile this year with bands, displays and trade stands set to take over the High Street.

Alex Bentley, a former Royal Marine and chairman of Skipton Royal British Legion, said he hoped many veterans, as well as serving members of the armed forces, would take part in a march along the High Street.

The ceremony, which will start at 11am, will include performances by the Skipton Royal British Legion Band, the ATC Band and the City of Leeds Pipe Band. There will also be a demonstration by the Sealed Knot and trade stands.

Highlight of the afternoon will be a veterans’ march up the High Street led by British Legion president Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Smith, followed by the lowering of the flag at 3.30pm.

Skipton and District Royal Naval Association will have an information and recruiting space in the Town Hall and a children’s lucky dip bran tub.

The Sea Cadets will be on duty in the High Street, helping to bring a nautical spirit.

Dave Parker, chief officer of Skipton Town Council, said the council was pleased to support the event.

“Our town centre management team will be assisting with the road closure and traffic management issues both on the High Street and for the flag presentation ceremony by the chairman of the district council later in the day,” he said.

“We wish the Legion every success with the event.”

* World War II veterans will be given a second chance to revisit the areas where they fought for freedom thanks to the Big Lottery Fund.

Following the success of Heroes Return in 2004/5 the fund has launched Heroes Return 2, making funding available for those people and their carers making a return journey in 2009 or 2010.

For more details call 0845 00 00 121.