Flying the flag for the Armed Forces in Hampshire
Friday, 20 June 2014
Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council will once again raise the flag for the Armed Forces on Monday 23 June 2014, in an annual event to help raise public awareness of the military.
This year, the tri-service ceremony will be attended by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, who will unveil the 'To Honour a Promise' Memorial which is being erected to mark the centenary of the First World War.
The lunchtime celebrations begin on Monday at 11:30am when The Band & Bugles of the Rifles will play a selection of military music at the Buttercross in the centre of Winchester's High Street.
The Band will march down the High Street to join a contingent of service personnel drawn from the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force. At 12.10pm the Band will then lead them up the full length of the High Street to The Great Hall, Castle Avenue, where the Armed Forces Flag will be presented to HRH the Duke of Gloucester and then raised by a Hampshire Cadet.
Following the raising of the flag, The Duke of Gloucester will unveil the 'To Honour a Promise' Memorial, outside The Great Hall. The permanent memorial represents the fulfilment of a promise made, nearly 100 years ago, by the people of Winchester, to build a monument in honour of up to two million American troops who passed through Winchester's Morn Hill Camp between 1914 and 1919.
The ceremony has been organised by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire Dame Mary Fagan DCVO JP, Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, and Mayor of Winchester Councillor Eileen Berry.
The Lord-Lieutenant said: "I am delighted that representatives from all three services will be joining us for the annual Flag Raising Ceremony. I hope that members of the public will assist us in demonstrating Hampshire's strong commitment to our Armed Forces and the appreciation we have for all that they do, by turning out to support the contingent as they march through Winchester, and by attending the ceremony outside The Great Hall."
Councillor Roy Perry said: "There are 30,000 military personnel based in Hampshire, the largest contingent in the country, and we are immensely proud of our strong connection with the armed forces. Earlier this year the military made a major contribution during Hampshire's flooding emergencies, working around the clock to protect the homes of our residents from rising water levels, for which we are hugely thankful. This year's ceremony also holds special significance as we celebrate the centenary of the First World War, as well as commemorating, earlier this month, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. At such a time, it's only fitting that we share our gratitude for the contributions and sacrifices of the armed forces community, and all they do to protect and serve this country."
The Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Eileen Berry, said: "I am very much looking forward to this year's flag raising ceremony. As we celebrate one hundred years since the First World War, I am thrilled that we are able to unveil the 'To Honour a Promise' memorial. This is an important monument for Winchester - it celebrates the resilience and kindness of the residents who lived here during the war and made Winchester a welcoming respite for thousands of American troops."
The raising of the flag on Monday 23 June, marks the start of Armed Forces Week, a week of celebration culminating in Armed Forces Day on Saturday 28 June - an annual opportunity for the nation to show its support.