Flying the flag for our Armed Forces

Armed Forces Day Drumhead Service at Lancaster Priory.

Armed Forces Day Drumhead Service at Lancaster Priory.

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Flags will be raised at Morecambe and Lancaster Town Halls next week to mark Armed Forces week.

Lancaster Military Heritage Group said the annual commemoration would have a new look this year with an ambitious programme of events.

On Monday June 20 at 10.30am, The Mayor of Lancaster, Coun Robert Redfern, will preside over the raising of the flag in Lancaster and the deputy mayor, Coun Carla Brayshaw, in Morecambe.

All members of the Armed Forces Family are invited to attend.

After the flags are raised, all those attending are welcome to join the Mayor or Deputy Mayor for refreshments.

In Lancaster, attendees should assemble in Dalton Square gardens from 10.15am, and in Morecambe, in the gardens at the front of the town hall at 10.15am.

The flags will remain flying until Armed Forces Day on Saturday June 25.

The Mayor said: “I am delighted to be able to be part of this special day and would love to see all members of the Armed Forces Family joining myself and the Deputy Mayor to watch these special flags being hoisted at our town halls.”

As part of the WW1 commemorative programme on Wednesday June 22 a performance of a monologue Searching for Matthew and an archive film of Life on the Home Front in the North West will take place at the Platform in Morecambe – booking is advised (tickets £5).  

There will be free events at Lancaster Castle on June 25 and Morecambe seafront on June 26, where Regular, Reserve and Cadet forces will be present with demonstrations, historic vehicles and live music, as well as a Battle of Britain Flight Spitfire flypast in Morecambe at 1pm.

There will be historic vehicles provided by members of South Cumbria/ North Lancashire branch of The Military Vehicle Trust who rescue, restore and display military vehicles of all types, from the modern era back to the 1940s, plus many more period and military attractions.

The Cadet Corps of Drums will play in the morning at Lancaster and Lancaster Brass Band and the High Society Jazz Band will perform througouth the afternoon in addition to the walking bands.

Armed Forces week will have a new look this year with an ambitious programme aimed at involving as many people as possible, starting on Monday 20th June when the Armed Forces Day Flag will be raised simultaneously at 11a.m. at both Lancaster and Morecambe Town Halls. Anyone with a family or personal connection to the Armed Forces, or simply those wishing to add their thanks to work our Forces do is welcome to attend.

As part of the WW1 commemorative programme on Wednesday 23rd June a unique combined performance of a monologue “Searching for Matthew” and an archive film of “Life on the Home Front in the North West” will take place at the Platform in Morecambe – booking is advised (tickets £5).  Join Lizzie as she sets out to war ravaged France to try and find her brother’s grave and come to terms with her loss and then soak up the film of life on the streets in our region in those difficult years a century ago.

Armed Forces Day weekend is repeating the very successful Saturday event on 25th June in Lancaster Castle and is also moving to Morecambe seafront on Sunday 26th June. Look out for the New Orleans walking jazz bands and follow the feather flags to the many attractions available. Join in the party atmosphere at one or both venues which are entirely free to all visitors.

The Duchy of Lancaster have again supported the Armed Forces Day programme by opening up the Castle to the event which draws on the expertise of Regular, Reserve and Cadet Forces, and a number of Veterans and civilian organisations in support. Our local Reservists from Alexandra Barracks will be on hand to demonstrate their latest equipment and supported by local Cadet Units. Given the different nature of the venues there will be slight variations in the programme as it moves to Morecambe where the fun fair and musical contributions of many bands will add to the carnival atmosphere. Don’t forget to get there early to see the ‘Black Knights’ parachute display team drop onto the area between 11.00-12.00hrs followed by a Battle of Britain Flight Spitfire flypast expected at 13.10hrs

Lancaster University “Streets of Mourning” project will offer an opportunity for residents to find out how the casualty mapping of the War affected the streets of Lancaster and to contribute their own local knowledge of the period to the database.

The Festival village is adding to the atmosphere with Morecambe Brass Band and students from Lancaster and Morecambe College playing in the car park.

A veterans’ lounge will operate in ‘The Station’ at Morecambe where veterans can pop in for a cup of tea and a sit down and the Winter Gardens will open their bar as a similar refuge.

With financial support from the MOD, the Lancaster BID, Lancshire CC Veterans Champion fund, Lancaster District Council, Morecambe Town Council and in kind support from Bay Radio and a number of smaller groups and businesses the weekend should have something to offer for all and is the first event to combine both Lancaster and Morecambe as venues in the same weekend. Join us and have a great day out!

Throughout the weekend raffle tickets will be on sale for the “Heroes Prize Draw” which will be drawn by the Mayor at 3.30pm in front of the Platform in Morecambe. Proceeds will go to two Service Charities, Combat Stress and the Soldiers, Sailors and Air Force Association (SSAFA), both of whom work with veterans and their families to assist with the trauma of combat and the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome issues now extremely well recognised, in contrast to earlier wars. Tickets are just £1– please support these worthy causes.