EXETER city centre will be full of servicemen and women, past, present and future as it celebrates Armed Forces Day on Saturday June 21.
As part of the city’s annual celebrations of the work of the Armed Forces, almost 800 servicemen and women from all branches of the armed forces will be marching through the City Centre with Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence taking the salute at the Guildhall.
Lead by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines together with Royal Marines from Lympstone, who are marking the anniversary of their founding 350 years ago by exercising their Freedom of the City, as well as representatives from the Royal Navy, the Coldstream Guards and RAF Brize Norton, the parade will step off from St James Park at 11:30am before marching along Sidwell Street, High Street, and into Cathedral Green.
The serving personnel will be followed by representatives of many ex-service organisations from Exeter, together with local cadet units who will be led by their own band.
The celebrations will continue with the re-dedication of a chapel in the Cathedral to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, as well as a military village being erected on the Cathedral Green throughout the day.
There will be a full afternoon of musical entertainment on the Cathedral Green with performances from The Rifles Blues Band, the Air Cadet Band with the programme culminating with Beat the Retreat by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.
Finally there will be an evening concert in the Cathedral where the Band of the Royal Marines Association will play alongside the Cathedral Choir for which tickets are available via www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/boxoffice
Deputy Lord Mayor of Exeter, Cllr Rob Newby, said: “This year sees a number of notable military anniversaries including the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Java and the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Marines.
"It is therefore important that we continually recognise the work of our armed forces and I am delighted that this year’s call to arms has been so well received by all three elements of the armed forces – past, present and future!
"The presence of The Princess Royal further cements this recognition in Exeter and I call on all residents of the City and beyond to show their support by lining the streets of the City Centre on 21st June.”