Week of events to honour the armed forces

Reservists from HMS King Alfred march through Portsmouth in 2011
Reservists from HMS King Alfred march through Portsmouth in 2011
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SERVICEMEN and women will march through the streets as people gather around the area to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Armed Forces Day falls on June 29, and in the days leading up to the event there will be a number of events, marches, and family attractions.

Two of the Royal Navy’s Portsmouth-based warships – a Type 45 destroyer and a Type 23 frigate – will open their gangways to the public. In other areas there will be marches, flag ceremonies, and family fun days to honour the armed forces.

Commodore Jeremy Rigby, the commander of Portsmouth Naval Base, said: ‘I’m delighted to give visitors the chance to visit HMS Defender and HMS Westminster to coincide with Armed Forces Day.

‘The future for Portsmouth Naval Base is assured and exciting.

‘We couldn’t do what we do without the enthusiasm of our local community and supporters of the armed forces.’

The Royal Navy and Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard will put on events over the weekend of June 29 and June 30.

HMS Defender and HMS Westminster will open to visitors each day from 10am until 4pm.

The navy will also host firefighting demonstrations on both days from 10.30am.

Youngsters will have the chance to take on sailors and Royal Marines at various games in the dockyard’s Action Stations.

Armed Forces Day celebrations begin in Portsmouth on June 27, with a ceremony in Guildhall Square at 10.20am.

It begins when a parade of servicemen and women, cadets, and veterans, march onto the square led by the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth.

On Monday, the deputy mayor of Gosport Wayne Ronayne will raise a flag at 10.30am in the town’s Falkland Gardens.

The mayor of Havant Paul Buckley will raise a flag outside Havant’s Public Service Plaza at 10.15am.