Two centenaries will take centre stage this Saturday when Stevenage and North Herts mark Armed Forces Day.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the armistice which brought an end to the First World War, and the centenary of the Royal Air Force – which was formed on April 1, 1918.

Second World War veterans will open Letchworth’s day of remembrance at 10am on Saturday at Broadway Gardens. There will be a full programme of events, including a cadet’s soapbox challenge, military bootcamp, Lindy Hop dancers, the Harpenden Pipe Band and the Garden City Singers.

More than 20 doves will be released in memory of all those who are no longer with us.

Event organiser Di Adkins said: “Letchworth has a strong ex-armed forces community, reflected in its veterans and cadets organisations.

“The town’s war memorial bares testament to human sacrifice and the strong family ties to those names etched in stone.

“A new generation of veterans live in the streets and avenues of Letchworth. The mountains, deserts and arid plains of Iraq and Afghanistan live large in the memory of those sometimes young veterans in our community. Never was it more important to acknowledge them alongside the ever-decreasing generation of Second World War heroes.”

They will also be giving away more than 300 ‘mystery gifts’ when you collect a voucher from the town centre and bring it to the Heathlands Animal Sanctuary stall at the event in the Broadway Gardens.

In Stevenage, Armed Forces Day will be marked in Town Square, with music, food, stalls and face painting from 10am until 4pm on Saturday.

Stalls will include information from a range of local charities. St George’s Way multi-storey car park will be free from 6am until 6pm on the day.

There is also a free bushcraft camping trip for all ex and currently serving forces personnel in Ardeley from tomorrow until Monday.

The camp out will include a fundraising raffle for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Veterans are welcome to join for the whole event, or just come along for the day. Children and dogs are welcome.

Baldock’s Royal British Legion branch will host a stall in the High Street beside the war memorial from 10am until 4pm.

Hitchin has already marked Armed Forces Day, with the sea cadets helping man a stall set up by the Hitchin branch of the Royal British Legion in Market Place on Saturday.