The original UK Armed Forces Day took place on 27 June 2009; it replaced Veterans’ Day, which was first observed in 2006. The date was chosen as it marked the day after the anniversary of the first investiture ceremony for the Victoria Cross, held on 26 June 1857.
The MOD site lists it quite nicely as an opportunity to do two things. Firstly, to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces; Secondly, it gives the nation an opportunity to Show Your 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.
When it came to Beverley Armed Forces Day (AFD) it all began when I was sat at work and an article appeared about the national launch on our intranet, it grabbed my interest like a passing Harley Davidson. I followed the link and thought what a great idea for Beverley with Saturday Market Place as the venue. As the then Mayor of Beverley I proposed this as my Mayoral event. Our first AFD was to be on Sunday 14th June 2009.
The date was within the MOD’s guidelines for grant support, but importantly, it also didn’t clash with other regular events and nearby AFD’s which would also be booking performers and asking for military assistance. I rate the event as one of my Mayoral highlights which in a very full year was up there with addressing the Yorkshire Regiment on their Freedom Parade.
I believe that we haven’t looked back since then, and the only major change was when the event management was taken on by SSAFA Forces Help East Yorkshire.
With events on;
14th June 2009
4th July 2010
3rd July 2011
1st July 2012
All I can really add to the above is we now have fantastic support from the community with donations and performers making the day very special. As long as this continues AFD will be a day for all the family, held on the first Sunday of July, a day to remember, to show respect for our forces and enjoy and share in the experience of a festival atmosphere as only Beverlonians can.
Cllr David K Elvidge
Chairman Beverley Armed Forces Day
NEXT EVENT Sunday 6th July 2014 – Programme Click Here