Today is Armed Forces Day and communities all over the country will be staging events to show support for the nations service men and women.
While some Councils will be staging parades with marching bands, noisy aircraft fly-pasts and parachutists, Eastleigh Borough Council instead opted for a quiet, private flag raising ceremony which took place at the Civic Offices earlier in the week.
Although there no Armed Forces Day events planned in the Borough, there still plenty of ways to mark the occasion locally.
In Wickham today there will be a parade by schoolchildren led by pipers and British Legion standards followed by a Flag raising ceremony in Wickham Square. There will static military displays and photographs with a military connection with many old service vehicles on display. In the evening there will be a concert by the Hampshire Police Band in the Community Centre.
Tomorrow in Winchester there will be free entry to an Armed Forces ‘Fun Day’ at the Military Museum.
An action-packed day is promised with fun activities for the whole family featuring a performance from the Royal Logistic Corps Band. There will be children’s activities and plenty of displays and exhibitions.
Special guests include ‘The Rifles Living History Re-enactment Society’ and Gurkha Kukri dancers.
Fawley Parish Council have organised a FREE Music Festival and charity fund raising event at Gang Warily running all day today with military displays, living history, a live music stage and Fairground Inflatables.
At Andover on Sunday there will be a ‘party in the park’ open to all at Vigo Park with military vehicles and military displays plus the Sealed Knot re-enactment group and knights in armour.
There will be Charity Field Gun runs at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard over the weekend but the city also promises to stage the biggest Armed Forces event in the south on the following weekend July 2 -3 on Southsea Common.
Scheduled events include marching bands, freefall parachute display teams, dog display teams, motorcycle display teams and a veteran’s parade. There will also be also a large static display of current in service equipment from the Armed Forces as well as an opportunity to meet and chat to serving servicemen and women.
On Sunday in Salisbury there will be a parade in the Marketplace of serving personnel, including reservists, if available. The parade will conclude with a short ‘Drumhead Service’ of thanksgiving and the presentation of Veterans Badges by the Mayor
The Mayor will open a free Exhibition at the Guildhall called ‘Hidden Heroes’.
There will also be Static displays, refreshments, live music and a fly-past.
There will be one event taking place in the Borough next week – although not open to the public.
On June 29 Hamble Cub pack will be holding a ‘Heroes Night.’
Writing on the Armed Forces Day website the Cub leader explained:
“Our 35 Cubs have great respect for our Armed Forces, as they are firstly part of a Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scout Troop, a status only given to 100 sea scout troops in the country, but also we have two leaders from our Scout troop who both serve in the Royal Navy, as well as many other former and current scouts in all three forces. We believe it is important in this day and age for the younger generation to understand what our Armed Forces do.”
Photo: Eastleigh Borough Council