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A virtual flag raising ceremony, online tea dances and a digital quiz – just a few ways that local people can show their support for the armed forces.

Armed Forces Day is taking place on Saturday 27 June, but there are celebrations planned throughout the week (from 22 to 28 June) to highlight the enormous role played by the country’s service personnel.

Many of the events traditionally held to commemorate the contribution of armed forces have been re-imagined to make sure they can go ahead safely during the pandemic. There are lots of ways that residents, reservists, service leavers and families can mark the occasion.

A short film of the flag raising ceremony in Guildhall Square attended by Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor Cllr Rob Wood and the Naval Base Commander, Commodore Jeremy Bailey, will be hosted on the council’s Facebook page on Monday 22 June.

From Monday 22 June, people will also have the chance to hear a specially-commissioned interview 96 year-old WW2 veteran Peter Chamberlain and 26 year-old Joe Hookey, reflecting on serving in the Royal Navy.

There is also a host of online events including a virtual vintage tea dance and an armed forces themed quiz.

This year there is also a particular focus on emotional wellbeing and mental health, with Solent Mind’s veteran wellbeing advisers – part of the Positive Minds team – taking over their social media feeds to offer advice to those that have left or are transitioning out of the armed forces.

Cllr Rob Wood, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, said: “I’m thrilled to be taking part in the commemorations for Armed Forces Week alongside Commodore Jeremy Bailey. Our city’s rich naval history and close relationship with the Royal Navy means the council is particularly proud to support the Armed Forces Covenant. Now more than ever, it is vital we show our support for the armed forces community and to make sure they can easily access the support that they need.”

Watch a video explaining the Armed Forces Covenant in 60 seconds.

Find out more about the Armed Forces Week events taking place in Portsmouth and across the region.

Local activities

  • Monday 22 June – 11am – a video of the flag raising ceremony, attended by Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor Cllr Rob Wood and the Naval Base Commander, Commodore Jeremy Bailey, was shown on the council’s Facebook and Twitter feeds
  • Thursday 25 June – 4.30pm take part in SSAFA’s digital quiz – register on their website
  • Saturday 27 June – join a virtual open day with local Army Reserve Unit 128 Divisional Support Company, which is based in Hilsea. There are two sessions on the day – one from 10am to 12pm, and a second from 1pm to 3pm. It’s free to join – visit this Zoom link and use meeting ID 713 370 2371 and password 8dUjF2. Find out more about the unit by emailing or find them on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Saturday 27 June – 3-4.30pm Lindy Hop Portsmouth is hosting a virtual tea dance, visit their Facebook page to find out how to take part

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