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Flypast for the national flag raising ceremony in Cornwall marking the start of Armed Forces Week

The Armed Forces Day flag

The National flag raising ceremony, officially marking the start of this year’s Armed Forces Week, will take place on Monday, June 19, against the beautiful backdrop of Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Falmouth is the host town for this year’s National Armed Forces Day celebration, which takes places on Saturday, June 24. The event is now in its fifteenth year.

Flags are also being raised on public buildings across Cornwall, including town halls, Cornwall Council’s New County Hall and Cornwall’s military bases HMS Raleigh, RAF St Mawgan and RNAS Culdrose, as a mark of respect and thanks to service personnel past and present.

HM Lord Lieutenant for Cornwall Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, RAF Air Commodore Polly Perkins CBE, Cornwall Council leader Linda Taylor, Chairman of Cornwall Council Cllr Pauline Giles, the Mayor of Falmouth Kirstie Edwards, and serving military from the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, as well as cadets and veterans, will gather for the official ceremony, which will include a short military flypast by an F-35 Lightning aircraft from 207 Sqn, the Joint RN & RAF Lightning Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Marham, along the coastline of Falmouth to entertain gathered crowds.

Lord Lieutenant for Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, will begin proceedings with ‘a very big thank you’ to the Armed Forces. He said: "Our military personnel are amongst the most outstanding and flexible in the world. They are there when we need them on the home front, as seen during the pandemic; they have been there to rescue our citizens from the civil war in Sudan and they are there to defend us from potential aggressors, if necessary."

Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey said: “Today is a pivotal moment in the Armed Forces Week calendar, the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag in Falmouth marks the start of celebrations that will culminate in the town hosting the national event on June 24. Armed Forces day is an opportunity for communities across Cornwall to come together to show their support to the military community, thanking them for the work they do in keeping us all safe.”

Cllr Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for the Economy, and a veteran Navy Submariner, said: “Following 100 days of marking the event in Cornish communities and military bases, we now reach the moving moment of Armed Forces flags being raised simultaneously across the land. We are beyond proud to be hosting the Armed Forces national event and promise everyone – including our honoured armed forces guests – a happy and memorable week ahead.”

Falmouth Town Mayor, Cllr Kirstie Edwards said: “Armed Forces Day, the national event being hosted this weekend in Falmouth, has taken months of planning by Cornwall Council with support from Falmouth Town Council and Falmouth BID and will involve hundreds of volunteers. It is a huge thank you to the military for everything they do to keep us safe and we’re proud Falmouth is the focus for this prestigious occasion, given our town’s historical and ongoing links with the armed forces. We hope that everyone will come and celebrate with us on Saturday, it promises to be a spectacular event.”

For more information, please visit the Armed Forces Day website

Published on June 14, 2023

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