In the shadow of the tallest church spire in the UK, over 1400 personnel from all military Services, veterans and cadets, made the 2019 National Armed Forces Day parade the largest one to date. Originally conceived as Veterans Day, the event changed its name in 2009 to National Armed Forces Day to celebrate the contributions of both past and present members of the British Armed Forces. Taking place on the last Saturday of June, the parade is just one aspect of a whole weekend where the national lead event is hosted by a different town or city each year around the UK, most recently Liverpool and Llandudno.
Held this year in Salisbury and hosted by Wiltshire Council, council leader Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE said:
Wiltshire is proud to be a military county and the Armed Forces and their families make up a significant proportion of Wiltshire’s population. This is a fantastic opportunity, on behalf of the whole country, to recognise and celebrate what they do.
On the hottest day thus far of 2019, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne was present to review the parade and take the salute on the dais as the procession went by. As well as the huge number of personnel on parade, there was a sizeable mechanised representation from the Army, including a Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle and a Coyote Tactical Support Vehicle. The Band of the RAF Regiment and Queen’s Colour Squadron were on parade as part of the RAF’s representation, which also included fly pasts from the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. In addition to the main national event, there were also hundreds of other towns and cities in the UK, as well as British military locations worldwide, holding celebrations.
Article by Corporal James Giddings.