Date Published: 25 June 2019
Record crowds gathered at Oakham Castle this week to pay tribute to the men and women who make up Britain’s Armed Forces Community.
The Armed Forces Flag was raised at Oakham Castle on Monday 24 June to celebrate the build-up to this year’s national Armed Forces Day.
The short flag raising ceremony signalled the start of Armed Forces Week 2019, with events due to take place around the country all week ahead of Armed Force Day on Saturday 29 June.
Armed Forces Day (formerly Veterans Day) is celebrated across the UK to highlight the role played by men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from serving troops and their families to veterans and cadets.
More than 300 people, including representatives of the Armed Forces and children from local schools, turned out to see a flag party from 7th Regiment the Royal Logistic Corps raise the Armed Forces flag in the Castle grounds.
The ceremony began shortly after 10am with opening addresses from Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness, Rutland County Council Chairman Cllr Kenneth Bool and Armed Forces Champion Cllr Ian Razzell, followed by prayers from the Reverend John Vincent from 7 Infantry Brigade.
“This has undoubtedly been the biggest Armed Forces Day celebration that we have held here in Rutland and it was a pleasure to see so many people turn out to show their collective support for the Armed Forces. People in Rutland take great pride in our county’s longstanding relationship with the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force. It was particularly special to see so many young people from schools, cadet forces and local groups like the Brownies alongside veterans who have fought and made great sacrifices to protect us. Armed Forces Day is about bringing everyone together to say thank you to the men and women who have given and continue to give so much in service to our country.”
Cllr Ian Razzell, Armed Forces Champion
“This year’s Flag Raising Event was a great success. Our beautiful castle makes a perfect setting for our Rutland tribute to the military. Rutland has profound respect and deep affection for our Armed Forces. In Rutland we have over 1,500 military personnel and over 9,000 veterans. With their families the military make a very significant part of our community. I would personally like to thank everyone who attended the event. There were many people from across our county. This year we were honoured to have Brigadier Thomas Bewick of the Desert Rats attend. 7 Royal Logistics raised the flag and other regiments from Kendrew Barracks and St George’s also attended. In addition we had representatives from the RAF 504 Squadron, our veterans, cadets, Brownies and many local school children. I am delighted that schools participated. Maintaining this connection between our Armed Forces and future generations is, perhaps, the most fitting tribute that we can pay to our men and women in uniform, who do so much for us all.”
Dr Sarah Furness, Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland
Armed Forces Day 2019 takes place on Saturday 29 June, with nearby events in Peterborough and Loughborough.
For more information about these celebrations, please visit the national Armed Forces Day website.