Farnham’s outgoing Mayor, Councillor David Attfield, led the town in uniting with others across the UK to pay tribute to the men and women, both past and present, of the armed forces on Armed Forces Day (24 June). At this year’s ceremony, the Mayor also called on the people of Farnham to recognise two important anniversaries in 2019: the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War and the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Councillor Attfield hosted the flag-raising ceremony outside the Town Council – an act which was replicated throughout the country – and led a procession to the war memorial in Gostrey Meadow where he gave a reading.

Students from local schools, representatives from the cadets, armed forces and veterans’ organisations joined the Mayor at the flag raising which was also supported by councillors and community organisations. Reverend John Morris from St Thomas on the Bourne led those assembled in prayer.

In his speech, Councillor Attfield highlighted the part that Farnham has played in previous conflicts and in today’s armed forces. “Just outside Farnham at Hankley Common there remains a key training location for D-Day built by Canadian troops. When you visit it today, you still get a feel for the enormity of the task that faced the soldiers that took part.

“Today, we are proud to be home to the Farnham branch of the Queen’s Regimental Association, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, 229 (Farnham) Squadron ATC and Farnham Sea Cadets,” he said. “We are honoured to show our support for our armed forces community, including cadets, reservists, serving troops, veterans and their families.”

Armed Forces Day begins with the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag on public buildings and landmarks and concludes five days later with a national event, which this year was on Saturday 29 June in Salisbury.

Armed Forces Day gives the public the opportunity to come together with the UK military to acknowledge and thank the men and women who currently serve or have previously served their country. The Mayor paid tribute to the work of armed forces, which today encompasses tasks as diverse as promoting peace, delivering aid, providing security, tackling drug traffickers and fighting terrorism.

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