Portsmouth came out in force to show its support at Portsmouth Armed Forces Day on Saturday 8 June 2024.

Thousands of people of all ages flocked to Southsea Common to enjoy a packed day of military parades, music, displays and entertainment, before the Red Arrows brought the event to a spectacular close.

The free community event was organised by Portsmouth City Council. BAE Systems was the headline sponsor allowing a wider programme to be offered, and World of Warships and Toob also supported the event, along with Yarty and Tea Mountain.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Jason Fazackarley said:

“I was delighted to be part of Portsmouth Armed Forces Day and see so many people come to honour and celebrate our armed forces family. It was a fitting end to a momentous week of D-Day 80 commemorations in Portsmouth.

“Thank you to everyone who performed, took part and came to show your support, and to the sponsors for helping the city council put on this free event for everyone.”

The Rose and Thistle Pipe Band got the event underway with a musical march in the morning. The band then led a parade of military, reservist, cadets and veterans around the main arena, followed by an inspection in front of spectators.

A BMX bike display provided jumps, tricks and flicks, before the Royal Navy ‘Raiders’ display team parachuted into the arena to loud applause.

Serving armed forces staff brought military equipment and vehicles to the event, including an army helicopter. Stalls from local organisations and groups lined the event with food and refreshments, while children were entertained by a climbing wall, obstacle course, funfair and activities.

Local bands performed music on the stage to draw crowds all day. To close a thrilling Portsmouth Armed Forces Day 2024, the Red Arrows performed a dazzling air display across the Solent and common to wow the thousands who attended.

Schoolchildren from Highbury Primary got involved by creating colourful D-Day bunting for the veterans’ tent.