Winchester supports its Armed Forces with a week of events to mark National Armed Forces Day
Winchester is renowned for its military connections - both past and present - so the city will be joining the nation in showing its support for the country’s Armed Forces by hosting a week of special events on a much larger scale than before in the lead up to National Armed Forces Day on Saturday 25 June 2011.
Armed Forces Week in Winchester will see tri-service involvement from the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force, and offers an opportunity to raise the profile of the Armed Forces and what they do for the country.
Winchester is extremely proud and grateful to members of the Armed Forces so the city will be saying ‘thank you’ during the week as some of Winchester's businesses will be offering discounts to Armed Services personnel and their families as part of a new initiative introduced this year.
To mark the start of Armed Forces Week in Winchester, Hampshire’s Lord-Lieutenant is joining with Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council to host a Flag Raising Ceremony on Monday 20 June. The lunch-time celebration begins at 11.45 am when the Band of the Adjutant General’s Corps will play a selection of military music at the Buttercross in the centre of Winchester before leading a column of 80 marching servicemen and women up the High Street to the Great Hall.
Another highlight of the week will be a talk from one of the most respected British generals of modern times: General Lord Dannatt will present "A look back, a look forward: reflections on 40 years a soldier" at the Guildhall Winchester on Thursday 23 June. There will be a collection at the end of the talk in aid of Combat Stress, Lord Dannatt's preferred Service charity.
On National Armed Forces Day itself, Winchester Cathedral’s Canon Precentor will include special prayers during the Evensong Service.
Winchester’s Military Museums programme of events will conclude on Sunday 26 June with a Sunday Fun Day - an action-packed day with activities for the whole family, featuring a performance from the Royal Logistic Corps Band, children's activities and plenty of displays and exhibitions. Special guests will include The Rifles Living History Re-enactment Society and Gurkha Kukri dancers. Entry will be free to all of Winchester’s Military Museums.
Sir Christopher Wallace, Chair of Winchester’s Military Museums, said, “The events that we have planned at Winchester’s Military Museums throughout the week will serve to raise the profile of our military museums, highlighting what we have to offer. We hope to attract a wider range of people through offering a variety of events for all ages – including the Sunday Fun Day.
“I originally approached the City Council for advice on co-ordinating and promoting the city’s approach to the programme of many different events for Armed Forces Week and was given great support from the team.
“I believe that Winchester is leading the way on showing support for our Armed Forces by marking Armed Forces day with a whole week of events – most other cities currently just focus on Armed Forces Day itself.”
Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council and the Portfolio Holder for Economy and Tourism, commented, “The wealth of events and activities in support of our Armed Forces reinforces the fact that Winchester is one of the UK’s most patriotic cities. I am delighted to see that Armed Forces Week in Winchester goes from strength to strength each year. It is also excellent to see such a co-ordinated approach with local businesses working together and getting involved.”
Further activities throughout the week include an open air Sunset Ceremony on Tuesday 21 June featuring the Band and Bugles of the Rifles and the Adjutant Generals Corps Band playing an assortment of military music in the grounds of the Barracks, military guided tours, films, medal valuations and an opportunity to ‘trace your Army ancestors’. A flyer listing all the events during Armed Forces Week is available from Winchester Tourist Information Centre or can be downloaded from www.visitwinchester.co.uk/site/whats-on/armed-forces-week-in-winchester.
For more information call Winchester Tourist Information Centre on 01962 840 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org