Armed Forces Day to be marked with Colchester fanfare

PUBLISHED: 17 June 2021

A fanfare of trumpets from the British Army Band Colchester is set to herald Armed Forces Day in Colchester, at 10.30am, on Tuesday 22 June 2021*.

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.

This year’s raising of Armed Forces Day Flags across the country heralds a week of virtual and physical celebrations culminating on Armed Forces Day, Saturday 26 June. Colchester will be raising its Armed Forces Day Flag from the Town Hall alongside the Pegasus flag of 16 Air Assault Brigade. 

Tuesday 22 June also marks the 81st anniversary of Winston Churchill’s Second World War order to “raise a corps of at least 5,000 parachute troops, suitably organised and equipped", which is seen as the birth of the British Airborne Forces, whom the Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade trace their origins to and draw inspiration from.

The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Robert Davidson, will lead the ceremony, accompanied by the Commander of Colchester Garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Jim McManus AAC, and Garrison Sergeant Major WO1 Andy Lamont.

Other attendees will include Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, and the High Steward of Colchester, Sir Bob Russell. The public is also invited to attend the socially-distanced event, which takes place on the steps of the Town Hall.

The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Robert Davidson, said: “The raising of the Armed Forces and Pegasus flags gives us the opportunity to thank the military community who have devoted their lives to protecting our nation. I offer my respect, admiration and gratitude to our service personnel and their families and the veterans and cadets who make up the Armed Forces community and offer Colchester’s enduring commitment of support to you all.”

Lieutenant Colonel Jim McManus AAC, Commander Colchester Garrison, added: “Armed Forces Day presents an opportunity for the nation to recognise and thank the military community, which encompasses service personnel, both regular and reserve, their families, veterans and cadets.

“Colchester Garrison is hugely proud of the close, longstanding bond that exists between the military and civilian communities within Colchester – a relationship that is the envy of other UK Garrisons. The raising of the Armed Forces Day Flag and the Pegasus Flag of 16 Air Assault Brigade on Colchester Town Hall, is a strong symbol of our enduring mutually-supportive relationship.” 

Ahead of Tuesday’s ceremony, the Mayor and Councillor Darius Laws, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Business and Heritage, joined Colchester Borough Council staff in posing for a #SaluteOurForces selfie. #SaluteOurForces is a simple way for anyone to pay tribute to the British Armed Forces community, past and present, for their hard work and dedication.

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.

For more information about Armed Forces Day, visit 


Page last reviewed: 17 June 2021


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