Basingstoke salutes Armed Forces Day
This year’s annual Armed Forces Day was marked today (Monday 21 June) with a flag raising ceremony led by the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Onnalee Cubitt.
In line with current government COVID-19 guidance, 30 guests including local veterans and cadet leaders were invited to attend the socially distanced event at Basingstoke’s War Memorial.
Armed Forces Day, on Saturday 26 June, is a chance to show support for those in the armed forces community, from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets, which provides a much-valued morale boost.
The ceremony was organised in partnership with the Basingstoke and Overton Royal British Legion and included the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag.
The guest speaker was Brigadier Alan Richmond OBE (retired) and the prayers were led by the Mayor’s Chaplain Reverend Canon Linda Scard.
The Mayor was supported at the event by her husband Hugo Cubitt, who attended the ceremony as the Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan and Chief Executive Russell O’Keefe.
They were joined by Deputy Mayor Cllr Paul Miller, who is also the council’s armed forces champion.
The Mayor Cllr Cubitt said: “Armed Forces Day celebrates the men, women and young people who are currently serving and veterans who have served in the past.
“This annual event is an opportunity to show our support and appreciation to members of the Armed Forces for their dedication, their bravery and the incredible sacrifices which they make for us all.
“This is a particularly poignant event for me as I am aiming to inspire our wonderful local companies to encourage their employees to volunteer to support the army, air, sea, police and St John Ambulance cadet groups during my civic year. I have seen what a difference the cadet movements can make to young people, helping them to develop important life skills, such as problem solving and teamwork. I hope that the current lack of adult volunteers in our borough doesn’t stop more of our young people having the chance to benefit from being a cadet.”
Cadets played a role in the ceremony, raising their standards, and a sea cadet piped the general salute.