South Yorkshire to celebrate Armed Forces Day in style

Armed Forces Day in Doncaster in 2017.
Armed Forces Day in Doncaster in 2017.

They paid the ultimate sacrifice and South Yorkshire is expected to turn out in numbers to pay their respects to veterans and serving troops for Armed Forces Day.

A Lancaster bomber flypast will be among the highlights of the celebrations in Rotherham town centre while a military parade will work its way through Doncaster.

A ceremony will be held to remember those who have given their lives for our country and to give thanks to veterans and active servicemen and women. There will also be faith blessings as part of the ceremony.

The official Armed Forces Day flag will also be raised on the day by a local veteran.

Coun Ian Jones, Rotherham Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said the day would be something for everyone to look forward to.

“Armed Forces Day is one of the highlights in the calendar and it’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone from all backgrounds and faiths to come together in a show of thanks for the efforts of our Armed Forces,” he said.

“We are planning for this year to be the best occasion yet. The parade will be led by the Band of The Royal Armoured Corps and we hope everyone will get behind it and join in our great family event.”

The scheduled programme for Rotherham Armed Forces Day 2018 is as follows:

10.30am - The parade will leave the Town Hall, led by The Band of The Royal Armoured Corps

11.00am to 11.20am - Speeches and inspection of the troops

11.25am - Raising of the Armed Forces Day flag

11.25am - Lancaster Bomber Flypast (weather permitting)

11.30am - The parade will continue around the town

Meanwhile in Doncaster, the day will begin with a military parade to honour serving troops, veterans, families and cadets starting from Sir Nigel Gresley Square at 11am. Travelling through the town centre, the parade will pass the Grade I listed Mansion House before ending at Doncaster Market Square.

Streets will be decorated throughout the parade route to commemorate not only the 100 years since the end of the First World War but also the formation of the RAF.

To continue the celebrations into the afternoon, Market Square will be transformed for the day into a huge 1940s street party evoking memories of the war years. A live stage will provide fun for the whole family immediately after the parade; including a swing band, vocalists and entertainers.

There’ll also be plenty of refreshments, stalls and exhibits available around Market Square. Visitors are being encouraged to really enter into the spirit by dressing in the style of the period to create a great spectacle for the day.

Deputy Mayor Coun Glyn Jones said “Doncaster is incredibly proud of its armed forces community and the sacrifices made for our continued freedom. Armed Forces Day is a chance for us all to recognise and show our appreciation to those brave service men and women from across the borough.

“I’m sure the people of Doncaster will turn out in great numbers to show their support during the military parade; both at Sir Nigel Gresley Square and all the way along the route. The street party at Market Square also promises to provide a great atmosphere throughout the afternoon and I hope people take the chance to get involved.”