Birmingham will mark Armed Forces Day with a day of events and activities in Centenary Square on Saturday, June 27.
Running from 11am to 5pm, the event will include a wide range of stalls and activities, including a paintball range hosted by the Army cadets.
Veterans’ organisations represented on the day will include the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and the War Widows Association, who will have stalls with displays about their work.
A full stage programme of entertainment begins at 2pm, including Fiona Harrison “the forces’ sweetheart” performing songs from the 1940s, while the Military Choir will also treat crowds to sea shanties and national songs. The event will be compered by Garry Peal.
At 12.45pm, a Drum Head Service will take place where the Army, Navy and RAF regiments will march alongside the veterans’ associations, led by the Royal Signals and Mercian Band for a service and prayers.
Among those taking part will be 20 Ship’s Company from HMS Daring – the lead ship of the Type 45 Daring Class air defence destroyers, six of which are now in service with the Royal Navy – which is affiliated with Birmingham. As well as participating in the activities on the day itself, they will also be visiting another of HMS Daring’s affiliations, Small Heath School and Sixth Form Centre, on June 26.
And at 12pm, Cllr Anita Ward (former Lord Mayor, Armed Forces Champion, Birmingham County Chair of the Royal British Legion and mum of a serving soldier) will carry the Armed Forces flag (raised by Cllr Len Gregory when he was Lord Mayor for combat troops in Afghanistan) from outside the Council House in Victoria Square to the Hall of Memory, where it will be kept.
It is being lowered as no longer combat troops and AFD thought the most appropriate day to lower the flag.
The afternoon will be brought to a close at 4.45pm by the Royal Signals and Mercian Band with Beat the Retreat, a real spectacle not to be missed.
To kick start the celebrations, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Ray Hassall, will be joined by serving members of the Army, Navy and RAF, as well as veterans and standard bearers, to raise the Armed Forces Day flag in Centenary Square on Monday, June 22.
The flag-raising event will take place at 10am and members of the public are welcome to attend. The flag will continue to fly until Armed Forces Day itself.