News / What is Armed Forces Day?
Wednesday 17 June 2020

What is Armed Forces Day?

Posted by: Help For Heroes

What is Armed Forces Day?

Created in support of our Armed Forces community, Armed Forces Day UK is your chance to celebrate all those who serve to keep us safe, whether they are currently serving, veterans, reservists, cadets or military families.

Originally called Veterans' Day, the event was first observed on the 27 June 2006 - the day after the anniversary of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross in 1857.

When is Armed Forces Day?

Renamed Armed Forces Day, or AFD, in 2009, it’s now marked every year on the last Saturday in June. Celebrations start on the Monday before when the Armed Forces Day flag is raised and famous buildings and landmarks around the country fly the AFD flag with pride for Armed Forces Week.

What happens on Armed Forces Day?

2009’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) was hosted in Chatham, Kent. Since then, 11 host cities across the UK have held AFD events. In 2010 the event was held in Cardiff - where a parade led by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall was witnessed by around 50,000 visitors to the city’s celebrations.

In 2011 Edinburgh was the host city, where the main parade marched along the Royal Mile as a fly past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Red Arrows soared across the city’s sky.

Over the years there have also been Armed Forces Day host events held in Salisbury, Plymouth, Nottingham, Stirling, Guilford, Lincolnshire, Liverpool and Llandudno.

Why celebrate it?

Alongside the host city celebrations, businesses, communities and families unite across the UK to hold local events, with many choosing to raise money for Armed Forces charities. Village fetes, bakes sales, fancy dress competitions and fun runs take place all around the UK – it’s a chance for the whole country to come together to show their support for the men and women who put their lives on the line for us.

What’s happening for Armed Forces Day 2020?

Like a lot of other events, this Armed Forces Day will be celebrated virtually. 2020’s event was due to be held in Scarborough, Yorkshire. However, the coronavirus pandemic has sadly put Armed Forces Day Scarborough on hold. Despite this, you can still mark Armed Forces Day 2020 at a distance, and show your support for those who give our nation their all – click here to find out more.

How can I still celebrate Armed Forces Day?

Despite this, you can still mark AFD 2020 at a distance, and show your support for those who give our nation their all.

Click below to find out how you can make a life-changing difference to our heroes.

Together we are stronger. #SaluteOurForces