More details of the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Wolverhampton have been unveiled, with a packed programme of community events lined up for all the family.

Wolverhampton will be encouraged to #SaluteOurForces in the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force through a week of events, culminating with a day long celebration on Saturday 24 June, 2017.

Taking place in the Mander Centre from 11am to 4pm, it will feature drumming, rigging, semaphore and drill displays by Army, Air and Sea Cadets, physical training demonstrations by the Military Preparation College and offer the chance to meet members of the Armed Forces past and present.

There will also be musical performances by the RAF Cosford Voluntary Band, the Military Wives Choir, the City of Wolverhampton Council Choir and vintage vocal harmony trio The Bluebird Belles. There will also be a range of military vehicles on display in Queen Square and Dudley Street, along with a flight simulator.

Six days of Armed Forces Day celebrations in Wolverhampton kick off on Monday 19 June with a flag raising ceremony starting at 11am outside the Civic Centre during which the Armed Forces Day flag will be proudly flown. The ceremony will be led by RAF Cosford, with 210 Battery Royal Artillery and 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment in attendance alongside the City's veterans.

The Mercian Regiment Museum will be coming to the Mander Centre's Lower Mall on Tuesday 20 June from 10am to 4pm with an exhibition of the past and the present, comparing the experiences of soldiers from The Staffordshire Regiment in the First and Second World Wars with that of the modern day soldier in the West Mercian Regiment.

Visitors will be able to see antique weapons, uniforms and memorabilia and try their hand at poppy and medal making.

People can also get creative and knit or crochet a wartime-themed item at East Park Library or Central Library on Tuesday 20 June between 10am and noon, with the resulting work being put together for display at Central Library.

A series of Armed Forces Day themed activities will take place for children at the City's libraries throughout the week, too, including a Baby Book time at Central Library on Tuesday 20 June from 10.30am to 11.30pm, a creative writing group at Wednesfield Library on Tuesday 20 June from 2pm to 3pm and a storytime for the over 5s on Saturday 24 June at Central Library from 12.15pm to 1pm.

At noon on Wednesday 21 June, the Royal British Legion Riders - comprising members of the Armed Forces past and present and bikers who simply want to support the Legion - will be making their way into Queen Square in cavalcade via Stafford Road, Stafford Street and Lichfield Street. There, they will show off their vehicles and be on hand to chat to people about the work of the Royal British Legion. 

Military memorabilia will be on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery during the week in an exhibition marking 80 years since the Boulton Paul Defiant's test flight at Pendeford Airfield in 1937. The Wolverhampton built aircraft went on to see service in the Second World War.

Finally, members of the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society are inviting people to join them on a guided walk of some of the City's lesser known war memorials on Friday 23 June. The 90 minute walk begins at 10.30am at the rear entrance of the Civic Centre.

Throughout the week, people will be encouraged to show their support for the Armed Forces through the #saluteourforces social media campaign.

Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Elias Mattu said: "We owe the men and women of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force a debt of gratitude.

"These Armed Forces Day events are a fantastic way for us all to do that, while at the same time finding out a little bit more about our Armed Forces and recognise the crucial role they continue to play today."

To find out more about the Armed Forces Day events in Wolverhampton, please visit Type=links;Linkid=8500;Title=Armed Forces Day;Target=_blank;.

Wolverhampton is a signatory of the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a pledge of mutual support between the city and its Armed Forces community.

It calls on local people to support the Armed Forces community, recognise and remember the sacrifices they have made over the years and encourage activities that help members of the Armed Forces integrate into local life.

It also encourages members of the Armed Forces to support the wider community, and promote understanding and awareness among the public of some of the issues faced by former members of the Armed Forces as they return to civilian life.

For details of the help and support available to the Armed Forces community in Wolverhampton, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=4568;Title=Help for the Armed Forces community;.

  • released: Friday 26 May, 2017