Birmingham celebrates Armed Forces Day

By on 24/06/2010 in News

Saturday 26th June 2010
11.00am - 5.00pm
Victoria and Chamberlain Squares

Birmingham City Council is preparing for hundreds of people to show up and show their support for Armed Forces Day (formerly known as Veteran's Day), which takes place in Victoria and Chamberlain Squares this Saturday, 26th June.

The event will start at 11:00am with a private ceremony at the Hall of Memory where names of the fallen will be added to the Books of Remembrance with the Lord Mayor in attendance.

At 11.00am the activities start with a full stage programme of entertainment with The Forces' Sweethearts and Russ Pinder performing music from the 30s and 40s on the stage in Victoria Square.

There will also be displays of an ancient weapon-based Sikh martial art, Gatka, taking place in the event arena in Victoria Square.

Local Veterans' Associations such as REME, Royal British Legion, and Birmingham Air Raids Association will have stalls at the event with displays and information about their organisations. The Sea Cadets and Air Cadets will also be attending.
 
In Chamberlain Square there will be an inter-active Air Raid Shelter, where the public can experience what it was like during the blackout.

There will also be a display of the Bren Gun, a series of light machine guns adopted by Britain in the 1930s and used in various roles until 1991. While best known for playing a role as the British and Commonwealth forces’ primary infantry light machine gun in World War II, it was also used in the Korean War and saw service throughout the latter half of the 20th century, including the 1982 Falklands War and the 1991 Gulf War.

The 202 Field Hospital will be attending with a treatment bay, a medical simulation mannequin and a battlefield ambulance showing current medical equipment.

From 12.00pm - 4.00pm there will be a full programme of talks by guest speakers in the Council House with Veterans and serving Officers from the Armed Forces talking about their incredible experiences of conflicts past and present. Speakers include Major Philip Malins who served at Dunkirk, Captain Tom Quinn who has served in Afghanistan and Barbara Johnson from the Birmingham Air Raids Association.

At 4:30pm there will be a parade through Chamberlain and Victoria Squares.  Veterans from across the region will be encouraged to take part alongside the Armed Forces and the 7 Rifles Waterloo Band, with the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and Admiral Sir Trevor Soar taking the salute in front of the Council House.

The event will close with a performance in Victoria Square by the Waterloo Band at 5.00pm.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture said: “This is an important event in Birmingham’s annual calendar and, while paying tribute to the brave men and women serving in our forces, people can also have fun – hopefully in the sunshine.”

Lord Mayor Len Gregory said: “Armed Forces Day provides us with an opportunity to pay tribute to those servicemen and women, past and present, who have served their country at times of peace and conflict. I hope that the people of Birmingham will join in the celebrations on Saturday and show their support for these brave men and women.”

Ends

For further information contact Belinder Kaur Lidher 0121 303 6969

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