Civic and military representatives gathered at Alnwick Castle this morning to mark the start of Armed Forces Week.
The ceremony took place outside the Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland and featured a short address from Mayor of Alnwick Alan Symmonds, followed by prayers, the National Anthem and the raising of the Armed Forces Flag on top of the museum.
Representatives from the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force were all in attendance, as well as town councillors, veterans and Armed Forces associations and members of the public.
The lowering of the flag ceremony will take place at 4pm on Saturday, which is Armed Forces Day. People should meet at the castle Barbican at 3.45pm. There is no ceremony in the town this year.
The Armed Forces flag is usually raised on the town’s Northumberland Hall, but due to building works this was not viable.
Armed Forces Day aims to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served.
It also gives the nation an opportunity to show its support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets.
○ There will be a parade through Berwick town centre on Saturday for Armed Forces Day.
The event, organised by the Royal British Legion and the Berwick Detachment of the Northumbria Army Cadet Force, includes a range of free attractions along with the opportunity to show respect and thanks to the Armed Forces.
The day begins at 10.45am with a service in St Andrew’s Kirk, Wallace Green. During this service, the new North Northumberland Branch of the Royal British Legion will lay down of the old Crookham & Berwick Standards and raise and dedicate of their new Standard.
This will be followed at noon by a parade led through the town by the Berwick RBL Pipe Band and featuring the Eyemouth RBLS Band, the ACF, uniformed youth organisations, Legion Riders (Motorcycle division), RBL and more.
It finishes in the town hall at 1.30pm with an exhibition of military memorabilia featuring sections on the Battle of the Somme, Jutland and Britain in 1916.
“This is an area with a proud military history,” an RBL spokesman explained. “As such, it is our duty to help and support our local Forces personnel and their families but we can’t do this without our community and so we call upon locals and visitors alike to join the fun.”