Armed Forces Day celebrated with a bang in the Royal Arsenal
On Saturday, 30 June 2012, the fourth annual Armed Forces Day was celebrated in style at The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, on the doorstep of Firepower, the Regimental Museum of the Royal Artillery.
The aim of Armed Forces Day is to boost public support and appreciation of all those who serve and have served in HM Armed Forces. It provides an opportunity for the public of the United Kingdom to recognise the contribution the Armed Forces community makes, and has made, and for the Armed Forces and veterans to know that they are valued and enjoy the respect and support of both the Government and the Nation. Equally, it is also a chance to thank the local community for the support and assistance that they provide to the Armed Forces
The Royal Artillery Band, who this year celebrate their 250th anniversary, got the day off with a swing as they jazzed up the crowd outside Firepower, on Artillery Square. A parade of local Armed Forces veterans was inspected by the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor David Grant, who also congratulated Mr Len Jones on being named Veteran of The Year. Mr Jones is currently president of the Eltham and Well Hall Branch of the Royal British Legion. Despite being 92 and caring for his very sick wife Len has never faltered in his dedication and support to the British Legion, raising a considerable amount of money each year during the Poppy Appeal. Len served his country with distinction with the Royal West Kent’s in Italy during the Second World War; he was awarded the Military Medal for his outstanding courage and bravery.
Among the many exciting displays and entertainment drawing out the crowds to this historic quarter of London, were the King’s Troop RHA, the Royal Artillery Band, and the Corps of Drums from the 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, all of whom are based at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich. In addition, cadets from the local area took part, manning static displays, including 97 Cadet Battery.
Lt Col Ed Brockman RA, the Station Commander of the barracks said: “Today is about recognising the contribution of all those that serve and the veterans that have served in the Armed Forces; noting in particular, those that are deployed on operations today. In addition, we should not forget the part that our families play in this, something that is not always acknowledged. Knowing that we all have the public’s backing does make a difference. We are particularly grateful for the support that we receive from the local community here in Greenwich, something that we have enjoyed for many years.”
Firepower will be at the centre of events later this month during the Olympics, particularly during the shooting events which will be held at the historic Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich.
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