Armed Forces Day celebrations in Test Valley 2022


Armed Forces Day is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.

On Monday 20th June, Cllr Phil North posted on his Facebook page, “Privileged to attend the flag raising ceremony in Andover this morning ahead of Armed Forces Day this weekend. A huge thanks to the Deputy Mayor, Phil Lashbrook for officiating and to Test Valley’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Nick Matthews for writing and reading a moving poem entitled ‘Ode to a Soldier’. Its final line sums up what Armed Forces Day is all about:

“Every man and woman who serves deserves our respect today. But it compares only to those who sacrificed yesterday.”

As you go about your business this week please do spare a thought for our Armed Forces and their families, our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Rear Admiral Iain Henderson CB CBE DL; Chairman of the County Council, Councillor Marge Harvey, Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Rob Humby; and the County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Andrew Joy were joined outside the Great Hall in Winchester on Monday June 20 by Cadet Corporal Leah Murby, who raised the Armed Forces flag, and Luisa Armitage, trumpeter from the County Youth Orchestra who played the Hampshire Fanfare.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant said: “On behalf of HM Lord-Lieutenant, it is an honour 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 whom we are proud. We offer our sincere gratitude for their service and sacrifice.” 

County Council Leader, Councillor Rob Humby, added: “It is so important to highlight the enormous contribution of everyone involved in our Armed Forces, both to our county and to the UK. The County Council is committed to supporting everyone working in this sector and their families in all we do. As part of this, we are delighted to have been recognised with a Ministry of Defence Gold Award for our work to support and encourage Reservists who are employed by the Authority.”

Cllr Nick Matthew who is the the Armed forces champion for Test Valley told us, ” We had planned a freedom of the town parade by both army air corps and 22 engineers. However, about 3 weeks ago the commanding officers from both units stated they could no longer support us, due to their commitments and readiness in supporting Ukraine! They simply don’t have the resources. With the additional deployment of PWRR, we had no military equipment, manpower resources or support for armed forces day. We have jointly agreed with the units to hold a large event next year (potential war dependent)! And working to include army equipment display from Larkhill. In essence, by the time the regiments withdraw their plan, in left us little to no time to arrange alternative. Additionally, any alternative that didn’t include our military showcase would defeat the object and not be an armed forces day.

Other local Armed forces day events happening near us can be found on the official Armed forces Day website here

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