Letter of the Day: Where is Portsmouth’s Armed Forces Day?

British troops practice section attack drills in Oman.
British troops practice section attack drills in Oman.
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Here is a summary of a copy of an email I have just sent to Portsmouth City Council events team.

I am completely disgusted that Portsmouth is not holding ANY Armed Forces Day events or even a parade this year – or if they are, it is still very much a secret and far too late.

Please have a look at the number of small cities, towns and even villages who have registered events on the Armed Forces Day website and as what is purported to be a leading military garrison city, hang your heads in shame.

With the amount of museums and attractions in and around the city it should have been possible for Portsmouth to co-ordinate a week long list of events linking them all with different events at different attractions every day of the week culminating in a parade through the city finishing up at the Historic Dockyard event where the RM School of Music Band is already playing on Saturday, June 27 – Armed Forces Day.

With Portsmouth’s lack of proper AFD organisation to date, the city has no track record and no chance of ever winning a bid to host the National Armed Forces Day event in my opinion. Portsmouth really does need to redeem itself on this one and start making proper plans NOW for AFD 2016.

Perhaps, if the city organises a full list of events for next year well enough in advance, it will have gone some way to justify any future bid to hold the National Armed Forces Day event which this city so richly deserves.

I am sure that Gosport, Fareham and Havant would also be delighted to be involved for the good of the region.

John ‘Joe’ Erskine

Veteran, Cosham