Armed Forces Day 2018: Servicemen and women honoured at community events

PUBLISHED: 14:23 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:23 02 July 2018

Members of the Royal British Legion turned attended Letchworth's day of festvities. Picture: Alan Millard

Members of the Royal British Legion turned attended Letchworth's day of festvities. Picture: Alan Millard

Alan J Millard 15 SG4 0BS

Veterans, cadets and the public came together to mark Armed Forces Day 2018 on Saturday at events in North Herts, Central Beds and Stevenage.

The Armed Forces Day 2018 opening ceremony in Letchworth included the release of white doves, to represent the fallen. Picture: Alan MillardThe Armed Forces Day 2018 opening ceremony in Letchworth included the release of white doves, to represent the fallen. Picture: Alan Millard

In Letchworth, the event – particularly poignant due to the RAF celebrating its centenary and 2018 being 100 years since the end of the Second World War – was opened by NHDC’s vice chairman Jean Green, alongside military veterans.

During the opening ceremony, warrant officer Shaun Griffin presented a long-awaited war medal to Audrey Poynter for her service to the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.

There was something for everything at Letchworth's Armed Forces Day celebrations, including a classic car display. Picture: Alan MillardThere was something for everything at Letchworth's Armed Forces Day celebrations, including a classic car display. Picture: Alan Millard

And to conclude the ceremony, cadets from all services released doves as a sign of future peace – and paid tribute to the fallen.

The day continued with displays from the various cadet groups, the Harpenden Pipe Band, Crystal Majorettes, Garden City Singers and a military boot camp challenge. The cadets also took part in a soap box challenge.

The Biggleswade Sea Cadets band perforrmed at the Letchworth festivites. Picture: Alan MillardThe Biggleswade Sea Cadets band perforrmed at the Letchworth festivites. Picture: Alan Millard

Ken Needham, the branch secretary and treasurer of RAFA in Letchworth and Hitchin, said: “Memories of the old Baldock Soap Box Derby were brought to mind, when the cadets were given the task of building and racing soap boxes.

“Their efforts were more technically designed than those of the past Baldock days.

Members from the Royal Air Forces Association had a stall at Armed Forces Day in Letchworth. Picture: Alan MillardMembers from the Royal Air Forces Association had a stall at Armed Forces Day in Letchworth. Picture: Alan Millard

“The event was surrounded by local trades and associations showing their wares and activities.

“The people of Letchworth would like to thank all those who worked hard behind the scenes to make this event the success it was.”

Letchworth Army Cadets were the winners of the cadets competition at Armed Forces Day on Saturday. Picture: Alan MillardLetchworth Army Cadets were the winners of the cadets competition at Armed Forces Day on Saturday. Picture: Alan Millard

In Central Bedfordshire, a flag was raised for servicemen and women at the council offices in Chicksands.

The event was attended by the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis and the county’s High Sheriff Julian Polehill.

248 Letchworth ATC marched at Armed Forces Day in Letchworth. Picture: Alan Millard248 Letchworth ATC marched at Armed Forces Day in Letchworth. Picture: Alan Millard

Councillor James Jamieson, the leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “It was a great honour to again hold this ceremony at the Central Beds Council offices, and show our support for the tremendous work carried out by our armed forces and the voluntary organisations who look after serving and former armed forces personnel and their families.”

In Stevenage Town Square there were a number of charity stalls, music, food and face painting.

Harpenden Pipe Band performed at the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Letchworth on Saturday. Picture: Alan MillardHarpenden Pipe Band performed at the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Letchworth on Saturday. Picture: Alan Millard

One of the stalls was run by the Stevenage Royal British Legion branch, which raised £1,310 for the Poppy Appeal – both at the town centre event and at an additional stall at Cineworld in the town’s leisure park.

Armed Forces Day 2018: Letchworth Army Cadets were the winners of the cadets competition. Jacob Cox collected the award from NHDC's vice.chairman  Councillor Jean Green. Picture: Alan MillardArmed Forces Day 2018: Letchworth Army Cadets were the winners of the cadets competition. Jacob Cox collected the award from NHDC's vice.chairman Councillor Jean Green. Picture: Alan Millard

Councillor Joan Lloyd supported the raising of the flag at the Stevenage council offices on Monday. Picture: Richard MottCouncillor Joan Lloyd supported the raising of the flag at the Stevenage council offices on Monday. Picture: Richard Mott

The Stevenage branch of the Royal British Legion began its Armed Forces Day celebration with a flag raising ceremony at the council offices on Monday. Picture: Richard MottThe Stevenage branch of the Royal British Legion began its Armed Forces Day celebration with a flag raising ceremony at the council offices on Monday. Picture: Richard Mott

Armed Forces Day 2018: There were a number of stalls in Stevenage town centre on Saturday, to mark Armed Forces Day. Picture: Richard MottArmed Forces Day 2018: There were a number of stalls in Stevenage town centre on Saturday, to mark Armed Forces Day. Picture: Richard Mott

The Royal British Legion Stevenage Branch raised £1,310 at the Stevenage Armed Forces Day stall. Picture: Richard MottThe Royal British Legion Stevenage Branch raised £1,310 at the Stevenage Armed Forces Day stall. Picture: Richard Mott

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland showed his support at Armed Forces Day 2018. Picture: Richard MottStevenage MP Stephen McPartland showed his support at Armed Forces Day 2018. Picture: Richard Mott

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