Thousands of people are expected to attend a new one-off celebratory event of Armed Forces Day in Horsham next month.
The day is being organised by Horsham District Council and will feature a display of current and historic military vehicles, military equipment, cadet demonstrations, and displays by armed forces charities.
It will be held on Sunday June 29 from midday to 4pm in Horsham town centre’s Carfax and hopes to highlight the role and work of the army and other reserve forces, cadet forces, and armed forces charities.
Local businesses, stalls and concessions will also be involved to introduce a ‘tea party’ atmosphere to the day which is hoped to provide interest for all ages.
It will also celebrate and extend awareness of the signing by Horsham District Council of their Armed Forces Community Covenant for current and ex-service personnel and their families.
This will take place, weather permitting, on the bandstand between 2 and 2.30pm witnessed by a number of invited guests including the Lord Lieutenant’s representative, the high sheriff of West Sussex, senior military officers, the Royal British Legion, and other armed forces charities.
Also taking place at this time will be the inauguration of the Horsham District Council Chairman’s Cadet. This honorary role will be awarded annually to cadets selected from those proposed by the local services cadet forces based on their performance in serving the community.
Helena Croft, HDC’s deputy leader and cabinet member for Horsham town centre, said: “The principle of the council being committed to better serve our armed forces families and a Covenant to encapsulate this is very close to my heart, having grown up as a naval officer’s daughter.
“I was also honoured to serve as a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet in my youth so I am very keen that we introduce this within our council to recognise outstanding local cadets.
“With this year’s focus on the commemorations of both the start of World War One and the 70th anniversary of D-Day, now is a great time for us all to be re-affirming our support for current and past service personnel and their families in our community.
“I urge as many as possible to join with us on Sunday 29th June to take the opportunity to learn more about this aspect of the community and country in which we live and make this a great day in support of our armed forces.”