Forces in the community

The ship's company of HMS Defender, one of the most advanced warships the nation has ever built.
The ship's company of HMS Defender, one of the most advanced warships the nation has ever built.

SOUTHSEA GREEN: Anyone got some planks?

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Today, people across the country will be celebrating the contribution made by the Army, Royal Navy and Air Force for Armed Forces Day.

Attractions in our area are hosting events to help families showing their support and learning about the forces’ role in our communities.

At Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, they’re making a weekend of it with a series of free events.

From 11.30am until 4.30pm today, The National Museum of the Royal Navy will be celebrating the British Armed Forces throughout the years.

Visitors will learn how clothing, navigation and weapons have changed.

The arena alongside HMS Victory will be home to a variety of military vehicles and people dressed in 1940s clothes.

Visitors can taste rationing favourites while glamorous Miss Marie and The Dynamic Duo take them on a musical journey from the 1940s to the present day.

There will also be interactive children’s war re-enactments, the chance to fire a field gun, take part in Tudor games, make bunting and edible medals and speak to the veterans and museum curators.

There’s also an opportunity to go aboard two of the Navy’s famous warships – HMS Defender and HMS Westminster both days this weekend from 10am to 4pm.

It’s a rare opportunity to meet the crew and explore a Type 45 destroyer and Type 23 frigate.

Free activities at Action Stations both days, include fire-fighting demonstrations and comic performances.

Meanwhile, over at Blue Reef Aquarium in Southsea today, there’s a special offer for all military personnel, past and present.

They’ll be given free entry when accompanied by two other full-paying admissions.

The Royal Marines Museum, Southsea, is hosting The Pompey Para Parade on Sunday. They hope enough veterans will turn out to have two guards, led by the standards of all the branches represented.

Finally, next Sunday (July 7), The D-Day Museum, Southsea, is offering free entry from 10am to 5.30pm.

Visitors will have the chance to meet Normandy veterans, watch Second World War re-enactments and see an impressive display of model ships from the Surface Warship Association.

Plus, the Royal Navy presentation team will also be giving a talk about the work of today’s Royal Navy, at 12pm and 2pm.