City of Wolverhampton dignitaries, the public and members of the Armed Forces gathered outside the Civic Centre this morning to begin the build up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

Type=image;ImageID=10008;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Raising the Armed Forces flag;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=10009;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Raising the Armed Forces flag;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=10010;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Raising the Armed Forces flag;TitleClass=strong;

The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Barry Findlay, was joined by Military Cross hero Luke Cole from Wolverhampton, to raise the Armed Forces Day flag.

Luke was awarded the Military Cross for bravery under fire while serving in Afghanistan as a Reservist Private with the 2nd Battalion Mercian Regiment.

People from across Wolverhampton will be showing their support for the men and women of the Armed Forces.

The national Armed Forces Day commemorations take place on Saturday 25 June, 2016, giving the country the chance to pay tribute to serving troops, veterans, cadets and their families.

Wolverhampton will be marking the occasion with a parade of regular, reserve, veteran and cadet forces through the city centre.

It will step off from Wulfruna Street at 2.10pm and make its way to St Peter's Square where an outdoor drumhead service - the traditional form for a religious service attended by troops in the field - will take place.

More than 200 people will take part in the parade, representing organisations including 210 (Staffordshire) Battery 103 Regiment Royal Artillery, 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment, RAF Cosford, Wolverhampton Sea Cadets, 1046 (Fordhouses) Squadron Air Training Corps, City of Wolverhampton Royal British Legion (Central Branch), British Korean Veterans Association (Wolverhampton Branch), Staffordshire Regiment Association (Wolverhampton Branch), British and Caribbean Veterans Association and the National Service Royal Armoured Corps, 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards. For the first time, the parade will also include a light gun.

The parade, led by the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals, will march from Wulfruna Street to St Peter's Square via Princes Square, Lichfield Street, Queen Square and Exchange Street. Wulfruna Street will be closed to all traffic from 1.30pm until the conclusion of the parade.

Help for Heroes will have an information stand in Queen Square, while the Mercian Regiment will also be recruiting in the same location and giving out Armed Forces Day flags for people to cheer the parade on.

Mayor Councillor Findlay said: "It was an honour to meet Luke and raise the flag with him.

"Armed Forces Day is the culmination of a week of celebrations honouring the amazing contribution made by the UK's Armed Forces past and present, and our chance to demonstrate our gratitude to them.

"Hundreds of people joined us last year to witness the parade and I would like to encourage the people of Wolverhampton to once again turn out in force to show their support."

The Mayor will also be attending an Armed Forces Day fundraiser taking place at Wednesfield Town FC, Amos Lane, Wednesfield, between 11am and 5pm on Saturday 25 June.

It is sponsored by the Wolverhampton branch of the Staffordshire Regiment Association and the football club, and attractions include bouncy castles, stalls, tombolas, face painting, military vehicles, military demonstrations, music and dance, air soft rifle range and paintball.

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 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;.

Meanwhile, local businesses are encouraged to support the Armed Forces by flying the Armed Forces Day flag, tweeting using the hashtag #SaluteOurForces and offering discounts or deals to past and present members of the Armed Forces.

  • released: Monday 20¬†June, 2016