Flags flying to celebrate our heroes

CEREMONY: The raising of the special armed forces day flag at Preston City Hall
CEREMONY: The raising of the special armed forces day flag at Preston City Hall
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This weekend the whole nation will be toasting the military heroes of the past, present and future.

Councils across the country are raising special commemorative flags to honour all servicemen and women ahead of Saturday’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) celebration.

Colonel Alan Jolley and Mayor of South Ribble Councillor Mary Green holding the commemorative flag.

Colonel Alan Jolley and Mayor of South Ribble Councillor Mary Green holding the commemorative flag.

Preston’s AFD celebration has been moved to tie in with the King’s Royal Hussars’ 300th anniversary march through the city.

But the Mayor of Preston Coun Margaret McManus, has already marked the occasion by raising a special flag outside Preston Town Hall.

She said: “I am honoured to have been involved in the flag raising ceremony in Preston.

“It was a privilege to pay my respects at the Preston cenotaph alongside a number of veterans.

It was a privilege to pay my respects at the Preston cenotaph alongside a number of veterans.

Preston Coun Margaret McManus

“The raising of the flag shows our support and appreciation for the contributions made by servicemen and women past and present.”

Around 150 soldiers of armoured regiment the King’s Royal Hussars, based in Tidworth, Hampshire, will march through the city on Saturday, July 11.

Their 300th year celebration coincides with a day of military theme celebrations on the Flag Market.

Commanding Officer of the KRH, Lieutenant Colonel Justin Kingsford, said the reason they chose Preston was to thank the county for their support over the decades.

He said: “We’re really looking forward to celebrating this important year in our history with the people of Preston.

“It’s a huge honour to parade in the city and a great opportunity for us to say thank you for all the support we receive from across Lancashire.”

Mayor of South Ribble Coun Mary Green also raised a commemorative flag to recognise all servicemen and women across all of the armed forces.

The specially-commissioned flag was hoisted on Monday morning and will take pride of place at the Civic Centre, Leyland, until after AFD.

Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire Colonel Alan Jolley, who is from Leyland, returned to his home town to help Coun Green raise the flag. Coun Green said: “South Ribble Borough Council is delighted to support Armed Forces Day and to fly this specially commissioned flag. This is an opportunity for the whole nation to show its support and appreciation for the contribution made by all those who serve or have served at home and abroad. We will fly this flag with pride.”

And Stagecoach UK is also offering free bus travel to uniformed personnel travelling to events on Saturday.

Are you celebrating Armed Forces Day this weekend? If so send your pictures to: rosie.swarbrick@jpress.co.uk