UK

Armed Forces Day: Thousands Turn Out To Say Thank You To Serving Soldiers And Veterans

29/06/2013 18:35 BST | Updated 29/06/2013 20:09 BST
PA
Marchers parade from Kings Stable Road to Princes Street Gardens during the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Edinburgh.

Thousands of people turned out to mark Armed Forces Day in Scotland and in Nottingham at a series of parades and fly-pasts.

Celebratory events were held across the UK featuring bands, music and civic receptions.

Iconic WW2 aircraft the Dakota, Spitfire, Lancaster bomber and Hurricane of The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight took to the skies of Nottingham which was chosen to host the national event this year.

armed forces day

armed forces day

More than 300 events were hosted across the UK

More than 600 Armed Services personnel, veterans and cadets took part in a parade through the city centre of Nottingham.

A volley of celebratory gun blasts started the day's events at Nottingham Castle before the parade marched through the city's streets to the Old Market Square.

A Drumhead Service, usually conducted in the field during armed conflicts, was held in the square - allowing those gathered to reflect on the Armed Forces past and present.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester attended the event, with His Royal Highness taking the salute on behalf of The Queen and Royal Family.

They were joined by the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, and the new Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach.

armed forces day

A message from Prime Minister David Cameron is played on a big screen outside Nottingham Council House

Speaking ahead of the events, Prime Minister David Cameron, said: "Armed Forces Day is about reminding the British people that every day, as we go about our business, there are extraordinary men and women all over the world, and indeed right here at home, who risk their lives for our safety and security.

"Let us show everyone in our Armed Forces just how proud we are of everything that they do."

A pair of RAF Typhoon jets flew over Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee and marches were held in the three cities, as well as Aberdeen, during the day.

In Glasgow, Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, in her role as Lord Lieutenant, led celebrations in George Square.

"It is important that our serving military and our veterans know they have the support of this city and the whole of Britain," she said.

armed forces day

armed forces day

Thousands turned out to pay tribute

Rear Admiral Hockley, of the Royal Navy, who was also in Glasgow, said: "The Armed Forces Day service is a particularly special occasion for all our servicemen and women, full-time and reserve, serving or retired, as it is an event organised by communities to show support for our sailors, marines, soldiers and airmen and the work which they do on behalf of our country around the world.

"We appreciate the honour which Glasgow has bestowed on us with this special service and continue to thank the public for their unstinting and fond support."

Other entertainment included Glasgow's motorcycle team, the Speedway Tigers, the Cumbrian Pipe Band and military exhibits, including vintage Jeeps.

In Edinburgh, a parade wound from Kings Stable Road to Princes Street Gardens with displays and music, a parade led from Union Street to City Square in Aberdeen, and in Dundee a parade headed from St Andrews Church to City Square.

Events were also held in Puerto Pollensa, Spain, and Ornasions, France.

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Peter Wall attended the Armed Forces Day event at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich today.

And the BT tower in London was also lit up, displaying the message 'Armed Forces Day Show Your Support'.