News story

50-day countdown to Armed Forces Day

With 50 days to go, find out how you can get involved with Armed Forces Day this year.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Service personnel with an Armed Forces Day flag at Stirling Castle [Picture: Mark Owens, Crown copyright]
Service personnel promoting Armed Forces Day at Stirling Castle

Today (9 May 2014) marks the start of the 50-day countdown to Armed Forces Day 2014 on Saturday 28 June.

Whilst the city of Stirling will lead the national celebrations, Armed Forces Day is celebrated with events large and small throughout the UK.

A sailor showing his support for Armed Forces Day
A Royal Navy sailor shows his support for Armed Forces Day (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Brian Douglas, Crown copyright]

To help communities host their own events the Ministry of Defence has this year awarded over £312,000 in funding to cities and towns across the country, such as Cardiff, Plymouth, Weymouth, Portland, Wrexham, Greenwich and Scarborough, who will all be marking the big day.

The annual funding scheme saw local councils, organisations and communities apply for up to £10,000 to help with the costs of hosting festivities and to celebrate the UK’s armed forces past and present.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland showing their support for Armed Forces Day (library image) [Picture: Sergeant Barry Pope, Crown copyright]

It really does mean a lot to the men and women of our armed forces, especially those serving in Afghanistan. Craftsman Nathan Williams, from Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, said:

Seeing people showing their support on Armed Forces Day gives me pride in myself and the job that I do. Armed Forces Day makes it easier for my friends and family back home to understand and accept what I’m doing out here on operations.

The support the public show doesn’t just help the soldiers over here, but really helps our families back in the UK as well.

A re-enactment group show their support for Armed Forces Day
A re-enactment group from Lincolnshire pose with a Lancaster bomber to show their support for Armed Forces Day (library image) [Picture: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF, Crown copyright]

Previous Armed Forces Day activities held across the UK have included themed horse racing events, a big band dance, a gala day and ‘proms in the park’. Many of the events have offered discounts and vouchers to our service personnel and their families to show their support.

So wherever you live, find out about the events near you and how you can show your support for the armed forces. If something isn’t happening in your area, how about organising your own event? Find ideas and tips on how to hold a party here.

Published 9 May 2014