Date issued: 18 June 2019
A fanfare of trumpets from The Band of The Parachute Regiment is set to herald Armed Forces Day in Colchester, at 10am, on Monday 24 June 2019.
Colchester Borough Council will join local authorities and community groups across the country by flying the Armed Forces Day flag in support of servicemen and women and for the wider Armed Forces community of families, veterans and cadets.
The raising of Armed Forces Day Flags across the country will herald a week of celebrations around the country culminating in a national event in Salisbury on Saturday 29th June. Colchester will be raising its Armed Forces Day Flag alongside the Pegasus flag of 16 Air Assault Brigade from the Town Hall.
The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Nick Cope, will lead the ceremony, accompanied by the Commander of Colchester Garrison Lieutenant Colonel Steve Caldwell, Garrison Sergeant Major WO1 Billy Biggar and members of 16 Air Assault Brigade.
Other attendees include HM Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, and the High Steward of Colchester, Sir Bob Russell. The public is also invited to attend the event, which takes place on the steps of the Town Hall.
The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Nick Cope, said: “The raising of the Armed Forces Day flag gives us the opportunity to thank the military community who have devoted their lives to protecting our nation.
"This year's Armed Forces Day event is particularly poignant as it marks key anniversaries in World War 2, notably D-Day and the Battle of Arnhem, both of which involved men of the 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions.
“We owe our serving military personnel, particularly the British Army’s airborne forces based here in Colchester, and veterans everywhere, a huge debt of gratitude. Their commitment and sacrifice at home and abroad help ensure our freedom and safety.”
Commander of Colchester Garrison Lieutenant Colonel Steve Caldwell said: “It is with a great sense of pride, especially in this the 75th year in which we reflect on the sacrifices made by those involved in the liberation of Nazi occupied Europe, to accept and give thanks on behalf of 16 Air Assault Brigade and all those stationed at the Garrison for the support given and the appreciation shown by the people of Colchester.”
Before Monday’s ceremony the Mayor, council leader Cllr Mark Cory and Cllr Lyn Barton, Colchester Borough Council’s armed forces champion, showed their support for service personnel past and present by posing for a #SaluteOurForces selfie.
A friendship agreement is also being signed by the Mayor of Colchester and exchanged with the Municipality of Renkum (in Holland) at the 16 Air Assault Brigade and Colchester Garrison Show on Saturday 29th June.
As part of its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, the council is inviting Armed Forces personnel living in the borough to register their name and address so they can be kept informed about events and issues regarding the covenant, council help available and anything else that may be of interest.
Colchester Castle will be supporting Armed Forces Day again this year, by offering free entry on Saturday 29 June to serving personnel and their families with military ID or a Defence Privilege Card.
For more information about Armed Forces Day, visit www.armedforcesday.org.uk