Flying the flag for the Armed Forces in Hampshire

Armed Forces Day

Hampshire residents are being invited to show their support for the Armed Forces by joining in the celebrations to mark the start of Armed Forces week.

Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council will be marking Armed Forces Week with a flag raising ceremony in Winchester on Monday 24 June 2013. This is an annual event that helps raise public awareness of the military and gives the local community the opportunity to show their support for the Armed Forces. The ceremony will include a military band leading a Tri-Service march past through Winchester city centre.

The lunchtime celebrations begin on Monday at 11.45am with a Winchester Garrison Band, comprising musicians from The Band & Bugles of the Rifles and The Adjutant General's Corps, playing a selection of military music at the Buttercross in the centre of Winchester's High Street.

The band will then march down the High Street where it joins a contingent of 45 service personnel drawn from the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force. At 12.35pm the band will then lead them up the full length of the High Street to The Great Hall, Castle Avenue, where the Armed Forces Flag will be raised at 1pm.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, Leader of Hampshire County Council Councillor Roy Perry, and Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Ernest Jeffs have organised the flag raising ceremony.

The Lord-Lieutenant, who will inspect the Parade, said: "The annual Flag Raising Ceremony demonstrates Hampshire's strong commitment to our Armed Forces and the appreciation we have for all that they do. I am delighted that representatives from all three services will join us for this year's ceremony and I hope that members of the public will show their appreciation by turning out to support the contingent as they march through Winchester, and attending the short ceremony outside The Great Hall."

Councillor Roy Perry said: "Hampshire is home to the largest contingent of Armed Forces personnel in the country and we are immensely proud of our strong connection with the armed forces. Operational units of all three services are based here along with the headquarters of both the British Army and the Royal Navy. As a local authority, we want to show our debt of gratitude for the contributions and sacrifices of the armed forces community and all that they do to protect our country and serve the cause of freedom. I hope that people from around the county will join us in Winchester for these celebrations."

The Mayor of Winchester, the Right Worshipful, Councillor Ernest Jeffs, said: "Last month I signed a Community Covenant in recognition of Winchester's close connections with and support for the Armed Forces. I am looking forward to the flag-raising ceremony as a great opportunity to show that support and as a marvellous spectacle for the city."

Armed Forces week will see celebrations across the country leading up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 29 June 2013 which is an annual opportunity for the nation to show its support.