Portsmouth '˜will bid again' for national Armed Forces Day event

PORTSMOUTH has not given up on its dream to host the national Armed Forces Day event.

Monday, 15th January 2018, 4:37 pm
Updated Monday, 15th January 2018, 4:41 pm
A packed Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, last Remembrance Sunday

The news comes after the Ministry of Defence opened up expressions of interest for the 2019 Armed Forces Day.

Portsmouth missed out on hosting this year’s event, which will also mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice.

But according to Cllr Frank Jonas, who is the armed forces champion at Portsmouth City Council, the dream of one day hosting the national parade will not be abandoned.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said: ‘I think we will keep on putting our name in the hat for the event.

‘As the home of the Royal Navy and with the big army presence in the area, I think Portsmouth would be a great place for it to be.

‘I am a bit disappointed that we weren’t awarded the event for 2018 – I think it is an opportunity that we would make the most of.

‘But I am glad for the cities that have been awarded the honour.

‘We will continue to put in our applications, and hopefully the national Armed Forces Day event comes to Portsmouth sooner rather than later.’

An armed forces community day will be taking place in Portsmouth later this year, on Saturday, June 30 at Southsea Common.

Cllr Jonas said: ‘We will be putting on a great Armed Forces Day – last year was just a taster of what is to come.

‘I went along to the inaugural meeting and was very pleased with the feedback there.’

Portsmouth City Council has also revealed its ambitious plan for this year’s First World War commemorations, including tributes to those killed in the Ludendorff Offensive, the blocking raid on the Belgian port of Zeebruge and the marking of the final 100 days of the war.

The events are being planned in a collaborative effort between the Pompey Pals Project and Portsmouth City Council.

Organisers say it will be one of the most sensational spectacles in Britain.