Royal British Legion flags raised in Stevenage and Letchworth to rally support for Armed Forces Day

Stevenage mayor Councillor John Lloyd, left, with Keith Greenough, chairman of the Royal British Leg

Stevenage mayor Councillor John Lloyd, left, with Keith Greenough, chairman of the Royal British Legion's Stevenage branch. Far right, the flag. - Credit: Archant

Flags have been raised in Stevenage and Letchworth this morning to rally support for Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

The flag in Stevenage, outside the borough council’s headquarters in Danestrete, combines the top half of the Union Jack with the words ‘Armed Forces Day – show your support’.

Those present at the flag-raising ceremony included the mayor Councillor John Lloyd and Keith Greenough, the chairman of the Royal British Legion’s Stevenage branch.

In Letchworth, flags have been raised at the town’s war memorial in Station Place and at Broadway Gardens.

Armed Forces Day is an annual event held to raise awareness of and show support for those who serve and have served in the armed forces, as well as those in the wider forces community such as veterans, military families and cadets.

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“The men and women of the armed forces are busy around the world promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism,” explained Di Atkins, who is secretary for Armed Forces Day in Letchworth.

“Your support provides a much valued morale boost for the troops and their families. We hope to see as many people as possible to support the armed forces of the past, present and future.”

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Armed Forces Day in Letchworth, organised by the town’s branch of the Royal British Legion, coincides with the final weekend of Letchworth Festival.

It will start at 10am on Saturday with another flag-raising ceremony at Broadway Gardens, with the Union Flag going up alongside an Armed Forces Day flag.

There will be marching and music from pipers and sea cadets, as well as a full stage with entertainment throughout the day, a funfair and more than 50 military, craft, charity and food vending stalls.

Letchworth Air Cadets will also be there, showing off a mobile team challenge kit they’ve been able to buy thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The event at Broadway Gardens will end at 4pm, but from 6.30pm to 9pm that evening there will also be a Military Proms concert in the town by the band of the Royal Anglian Regiment’s 3rd Battalion.

Funds raised by the concert at the Spirella Building will go to the Royal Air Forces Assocation and the armed forces charity SSAFA’s Wings Appeal.

Tickets are available from the Tourist Information Centre for £12.50.

In Hitchin, the town’s Royal British Legion branch will be marking Armed Forces Day in Market Place from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Saturday, with air, sea and army cadets in attendance along with firefighters, veterans with ex-service vehicles and a Chelsea pensioner.

The Hitchin branch will also be holding a short service at Hitchin’s war memorial next to St Mary’s Church at 11am on Friday, July 1, to commemorate the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

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