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Veteran’s golden support for Armed Forces Day

News release 8462, published on 31 May 2019
A Hampshire war veteran who won gold at the inaugural Invictus Games will be supporting Basingstoke’s annual flag-raising ceremony to mark Armed Forces Day next month.

Former Royal Engineer Gavin Watson, aged 35, was discharged from duty due to medical circumstances – but won gold for Team UK in the Archery event at the Games held in London in 2014. He also competed in America’s Warrior Games and was placed gold in one event and individual silver and team gold in another.

A Help for Heroes ambassador, Gavin will be guest speaker at the Armed Forces Day ceremony, to be held outside the Civic Offices in Basingstoke on Monday 24 June at 2pm.

The Armed Forces Day flag will be raised and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Mayor Cllr Diane Taylor will present badges to veterans.

The event will also include a flypast by a Chinook helicopter from RAF Odiham (subject to service requirements) and a parade will take place from War Memorial Park, featuring a Corps of Drummers, RAF Odiham personnel, the 3PL (Basingstoke) Army Cadet Force, 443 (Basingstoke) Air Cadets and Basingstoke and Deane Sea Cadets.
Current service personnel and members of the public are welcome to attend this year’s Armed Forces Day event in Basingstoke, organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in partnership with Basingstoke and Overton Royal British Legion.

Armed Forces Day this year is on Saturday 29 June, but celebrated over a two week period across Britain.
Funds raised from a collection at the free-to-attend event will support SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity which provides lifelong support to servicemen and women, veterans and their families.

The Mayor Cllr Diane Taylor said: “I hope that many people will join me on 24 June to publicly thank the members of our Armed Forces for their dedication, their bravery and the incredible sacrifices they make for all of us.

“Armed Forces Day is a chance to show support for those in the armed forces community, from serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets, and provides a much-valued morale boost.”

Any veterans who would like to receive a veteran’s badge presented by the Mayor can contact Frank Connolly on 01256 414393 and leave their name, address, contact number, service and regiment.

For more information on the Mayor visit

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