Today, we commemorate Armed Forces Day 2024, a tribute to the currently serving men and women and veterans from all branches of the UK Armed Forces. It’s also a time to honour forces families but, most importantly, honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It is an occasion marked around the world, but in the UK it was first held in 2009 and replaced the former Veterans Day, which had been held since 2006.

The date was chosen as it marked the anniversary of the first investiture ceremony for the Victoria Cross military medal for heroism, held on June 26, 1857. Across the country, there are set to be parades and flag-raising processions, and more than 180 events.

Cheshire West and Chester Council have announced a week-long series of events to support the armed forces, as part of Armed Forces Day 2024. The council will celebrate the work of Regulars, Reservists, Veterans, Cadets, service families and the wider Armed Forces community from June 24 – June 29.

The Armed Forces Day flag will be flown at council buildings and the Northwich Town Council offices on Church Road. It will also be raised outside Chester Town Hall on the afternoon of June 24 by The Lord Mayor of Chester, in the company of military and cadet force personnel, Army Careers Centre staff and local veteran organisations.

Delyth Curtis, chief executive of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “The Council recognises and admires the commitment and sacrifices that our armed forces make on our behalf. The authority is committed to supporting these special individuals and their families and Armed Forces Week offers a fantastic opportunity to celebrate their outstanding contribution to our country. We are also signed up to the Armed Forces covenant which ensures a range of support to the armed forces community.”

The council will also hold Armed Forces Community Network Coffee Gatherings for members of its workforce with military connections.

Visitors to Chester are invited to celebrate the work of those who serve during Reserves Day on June 26. Representatives of the Reserve Forces from across the borough will showcase what they do with city centre displays throughout the day.

Further support for the military personnel comes from Brio Leisure, offering discounted or free membership to current and ex-members of the military.

Additional benefits include free travel on the Council’s Park & Ride service in Chester for Serving military personnel, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and veterans on Armed Forces Day, when accompanied by a fare-paying passenger. Serving personnel will need to present their military identity card. Other eligible individuals will need to present their Defence Privilege Card or HM Armed Forces Veterans Card.