Raising the flag in celebration of Hampshire's Armed Forces

Hampshire’s Armed Forces have been honoured by Hampshire County Council today (19 June) - marking the start of Armed Forces Week

Jun 19 2023

Vice Lord-Lieutenant inspects the parade

A platoon of Royal Navy personnel paraded along the historic Castle Avenue in Winchester to the Great Hall before being inspected by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Colonel Charles Ackroyd, followed by the raising of the Armed Forces Flag.

Colonel Ackroyd said: “On behalf of HM Lord-Lieutenant, it is a privilege to pay tribute to the commitment and dedication of our military personnel, veterans, and their families. Hampshire is home to a large Armed Forces community of more than 20,000 military personnel, of whom we are very proud. We offer our sincere gratitude for their service and sacrifice, and we have raised the Armed Forces flag today as a symbol of our respect for them, and all that they do for our country.”

The flag was blessed by The Reverend Canon Dr Roland Riem, before being raised by one of the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets. The Hampshire County Council fanfare was played by the Principal Cornet player of the Hampshire Youth Band.

Also accompanying Colonel Ackroyd at the event was the Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Patricia Stallard, County Council Leader, Councillor Rob Humby and the Authority’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Andrew Joy.

They were joined by Commodore John Voyce OBE ADC, HM Naval Base Commander at Portsmouth, Commander Julian Gazzard from HM Naval Base and Captain Mark Hardwick from Worthy Down; as well as Lieutenant Colonel Fraser Dowling of the British Army at Worthy Down; and Group Captain Donal McGurk of the Royal Air Force at RAF Odiham.

Senior representatives from the Emergency Services, Winchester City Council and Winchester Crown Court also joined Colonel Ackroyd on the steps, along with the Mayor of Winchester and Amelia Riviere, High Sheriff of Hampshire.

The County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Joy added: “This wonderful event to mark the start of Armed Forces Week is a chance for people to show their support for the men and women of the Forces, past and present.

I wish to thank everyone who turned out to watch the parade today in showing their appreciation and respect for our Armed Forces. Hampshire County Council places enormous value on its long and close relationship with its Armed Forces community, including regulars, reservists, veterans and their families, and we have always taken our duty to the particular needs of this community very seriously. We look forward to continuing this commitment and active support for the Armed Forces with the signing of an updated Armed Forces Covenant later this year.”