Date Published: 16 June 2021
Rutland is once again giving its full support to Armed Forces Week – celebrating its longstanding ties with both the Royal Air Force and British Army, as well as recognising the many veterans, reservists and cadets who live and work in the county.
Rutland’s annual Armed Forces flag raising at Oakham Castle takes place on Monday 21 June to mark the start of the week leading up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26 June. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement this week that lockdown easing in England is to be delayed until 19 July, this will not be a public event.
The flag raising will be attended by Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness, the county’s Armed Forces champion Councillor Ian Razzell, Rutland County Council Chairman Councillor Jeff Dale and High Sheriff of Rutland David Wood, together with a flag raising party from 7 Regiment RLC, Kendrew Barracks. For the second year running, due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the Council is encouraging people to show their support for Armed Forces Week safely at home or online.
“Rutland is a military county with two army bases, 1,500 serving personnel, thousands of veterans, and all their family members. The military means a great deal to Rutland. For the second year running, I am disappointed that we cannot all come together to have our annual public Flag Raising at Oakham Castle nor to hold our traditional celebrations for Armed Forces Day with residents and representatives of regiments stationed locally. Especially as, throughout this pandemic, our military personnel have been active in helping to build hospitals, set-up and run mobile testing units, and much more. In 2021, just as for 2020, we have extra cause to be grateful to our Armed Forces and I hope you will all join me in whatever ways you can to show our recognition of them and everything they do.” Lord-Lieutenant Dr Furness
“Armed Forces Day is an annual opportunity for the British public to celebrate our Armed Forces and thank them for their service, even though the celebrations must again be different this year. Rutland has inseparable ties with the Armed Forces stretching back over many decades. Because of this, and the close proximity of military bases in neighbouring areas, we have a large Armed Forces population who are part of the fabric of our local communities. We owe a great deal of thanks to our Armed Forces and their families, past and present.” Councillor Ian Razzell, Rutland County Council’s Armed Forces Champion and a retired Army officer
“Rutland residents are always supportive of the Armed Forces and I know they will want to show their appreciation while staying as safe as possible. As an Army veteran and reservist, I also know how just important that public support is for morale and what it means to our servicemen and women. This Saturday will mark the thirteenth annual Armed Forces Day we have commemorated in Rutland and there are still ways we can continue to show our support to the Armed Forces family.” Cllr Razzell added
To help celebrate Armed Forces Week in Rutland and show support for service personnel, residents and local businesses are being encouraged to decorate homes and workplaces and share images on social media using the hashtag #ArmedForcesWeek.
Local businesses are also being asked to consider joining Rutland’s Armed Forces Discount Scheme, which supports local service personnel by offering a discount on goods and services to them and their families: www.rutland.gov.uk/armedforces.
The Armed Forces community makes up more than 15% of the total population in Rutland, with Reserve Forces accounting for around one sixth of this. Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces and are ready to support the military should their country require them. As part of Armed Forces Week, Reservists Day will take place on Wednesday 23 June, recognising their contribution to the Armed Forces. Thursday 24 June will be dedicated to Veterans of all ages and from all branches of the military, with Cadets celebrated on Friday 25 June. Armed Forces Week culminates on Saturday with National Armed Forces Day.
For more information about National Armed Forces Day celebrations, please visit: www.armedforcesday.org.uk.