The raising of the Armed Forces Flag on Monday 25 June, to celebrate Hampshire’s Armed Forces community, will mark the beginning of Armed Forces Week.
The ceremony will be attended by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq; Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Elaine Still; Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans; the County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Andrew Joy; and Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Frank Pearson.
Personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will be taking part in the ceremony, which will culminate in the raising of the Armed Forces Flag outside the Great Hall. The flag will be flown until sunset on Sunday 30 June.
The Lord-Lieutenant, Nigel Atkinson Esq, said: “The annual Flag Raising Ceremony, which has always been incredibly well supported, is a demonstration of Hampshire’s strong commitment to the Armed Forces. I look forward to welcoming a contingent of our serving personnel to Winchester in this centenary year of the Royal Air Force, and hope the public will show their appreciation and support by attending the ceremony.”
Hampshire County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Andrew Joy added: “Our support for our Armed Forces community, including regulars, reservists, veterans and their families, is constant. Hampshire is home to over 20,000 serving members, as well as the largest concentration of veterans in the UK.”
“Hampshire County Council is proud to have been one of the first in the UK to sign the Armed Forces Covenant. It’s heartening to see and hear how service personnel, their families, veterans and the wider community in Hampshire continue to benefit from many successful projects funded by the Ministry of Defence Covenant Fund.
The latest of these is our key role in Forces Connect South East (FCSE) which is a partnership that supports the aims of the Armed Forces Covenant and promotes a greater understanding and awareness of the issues affecting the Armed Forces Community within public authorities across the South East.
“The fund enables and strengthens local links between the Armed Forces community and civilian communities to be forged, as well as ensuring that the Armed Forces community benefits from this work in the long term.”
Members of the public are invited to begin assembling outside the Great Hall in Winchester from 12.30pm. The parade will start at 12.45pm, ahead of the raising of the Armed Forces flag at 1.00pm.
The Right Worshipful, the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Frank Pearson, said: “Winchester is rightly proud of its strong ties with the Armed Forces, who have been a constant and welcome presence in and around the district for many years. This ceremony is not to glorify war, but to honour those members of the Joint Services who have given their lives for us, along with those who continue to go into danger on our behalf.”