29 June 2024

Armed Forces Day

Salute Our Forces this summer – hold an Armed Forces Day event!

Why not show your support for Service personnel past and present this summer by holding an Armed Forces Day celebration?

Led by the Band of the Grenadier Guards the Armed Forces Day Parade makes its way through Guildford in front of cheering crowds. Today, thousands of people across the country celebrated the men and women of the Armed Forces, past and present, at more than 150 events to mark the seventh annual Armed Forces Day. Events ranged from large scale parades to simple community events, but the main focus of attention was at the National Event in Guildford, attended by His Royal Highnesses The Duke of York and the Prime Minister David Cameron. The Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon and the Worshipful Mayor of Guildford Nikki Nelson-Smith also attended. The day’s celebrations began with a thanksgiving service at Guildford Cathedral, followed by a parade of more than 900 Service personnel, veterans and cadets through the historic heart of Guildford from the High Street to the outdoor events arena, Stoke Park. The Duke of York took the salute on the parade route on behalf of The Queen and Royal Family, as the world famous Red Arrows roared over the square in tribute. Afternoon celebrations continued Stoke Park with a variety of military displays including a Royal Air Force GR4 Tornado flypast. Visitors also enjoyed a Sea King search and rescue demonstration, Spitfires and Hurricaines from the RAF Battle of Britain memorial Flight and a Swordfish biplane from the Royal Navy Historic Flight. In addition, crowds of an estimated 60,000 were treated to three parachute displays from the Royal Navy Raiders, the Army Red Devils and the RAF Falcons, as well as the Royal Signals White Helmet motorbike display team on the ground. The Red Arrows took to the skies again as the military celebrations drew to a close accompanied by a tri-service group of military bands made of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Portsmouth, the Band of the Grenadier Guards, and the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. On Saturday 25 June this year, people across the nation will be holding local celebrations to say “Thank You” to members of the Armed Forces community – including current personnel, Reserves, veterans, cadets and families – for their contribution to the nation.

And funding is available to anyone who wants to host an event – from city-wide parades and local fetes, to sports days and smaller neighbourhood get-togethers.

Organisers can bid for up to £10,000 to help make their event, large or small, a success.


Armed Forces Day comes in all shapes and sizes

Plymouth Armed Forces Day 2015 Venetta Evans, 77, from Dunbar in Scotland has organised small Armed Forces Day celebrations in her town for six years, expanding with small amounts of Government funding each year. She started by creating just six Armed Forces Day-themed shop window displays in the year 2000. This year she is helping 28 shops in Dunbar to carry Armed Forces Day displays. She has also arranged parades, tea parties and other activities to help people in the local area honour local service personnel, past and present. She said:

“I’m very proud of my two grandchildren in the Armed Forces, and I wanted to help my neighbourhood learn more about the work they and their colleagues do. Six years on, my displays have gotten bigger and better, I’ve arranged an Armed Forces Day parade, and brought local cadets and veterans together for tea and cake!

The funding I receive from the Ministry of Defence has helped pay for a great many things, from expanding the photograph collection for our window displays to buying flags and providing high visibility jackets for parade stewards. It’s helped Dunbar Armed Forces Day celebrations to grow and I’m already making big plans for the years to come”

In 2015, more than 170 Armed Forces Day celebrations were held across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and over 120 were supported with funding from the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

This year, the national event will be held in North East Lincolnshire, with the coastal town of Cleethorpes hosting a military parade, air displays, music, entertainment and family activities that will make a great day out.

However, no event is too small – every year bids for a few hundred pounds are granted to assist smaller events, such as displays, school talks or family fun days for just a few hundred visitors.Cleethorpes Armed Forces Day 2015

Wing Commander Tracey Broome from the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Day Team said:

“Armed Forces Day is chance for the public to show their support for everyone in the Armed Forces community. Now in its eighth year, we’ve funded a huge variety of Armed Forces Day events, from horse races to music events. We want to make sure that every community across the UK has an opportunity to convey their thanks through their own unique local event.”


Fund your 2016 event 

To find out more about the application process and funding criteria, contact the MOD Armed Forces Day team by email: armedforcesday-events@mod.uk or by telephone: 020 7807 0970.  Anyone interested in applying for funding should submit an application by 15 April 2016.