Babergh District Council is hosting a free community event in collaboration with Hadleigh Town Council to say “thank you” to the local military in celebration of Armed Forces Day.
Hadleigh has strong links with the Armed Forces due to its relationship with Wattisham Flying Station and on Thursday, June 23, there will be a free thanksgiving event and salute by armed forces in the marketplace.
The event, from 4.30pm, will include a static parade and public thanks from local dignitaries, as well as refreshments and entertainment.
The spectacle will then be followed by a reception for the Suffolk detachments hosted by Hadleigh Town Council.
This event will be the highlight in a week of celebrations that also include:
- a mural giving thanks to serving personnel at the High Street/ Angel Street junction;
- window displays by businesses and residents along Hadleigh High Street;
- a flag raising in front of an Apache helicopter at Wattisham Flying Station on June 20;
- a flag raising at Hadleigh War Memorial, to fly for the remainder of the week on June 20; and
- a fete hosted by the Hadleigh Royal British Legion on George Street, on June 25.
Babergh District Council’s chairman, Kathryn Grandon, will raise the flag at Wattisham flying station alongside senior military officers, Suffolk County Council’s Armed Forces champion Mick Fraser and Hadleigh Mayor Gordon McLeod.
Councillor Grandon said: “It is an honour to be asked to raise the flag at one of our county’s key military bases to start the week of thanks for our Armed Forces. It is wonderful to have the chance to see the critical roles played by our Armed Forces and to give thanks for their commitment and duty.”
Hadleigh Mayor Gordon McLeod said: “We are pleased to be welcoming forces representatives from each Suffolk detachment in our town. The salute in the Marketplace will be a great spectacle for residents and chance to express our thanks. It’s also great for our town to have another event for The Festival of Suffolk – Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
“We’re especially pleased that residents and businesses will be celebrating Hadleigh’s ties to the forces – I look forward to seeing the mural and fantastic window displays are wonderful to see, and many of those businesses have donated gifts too. I would like to thank everyone who has participated so far.”
Colonel David Amlôt MBE, station commander at Wattisham Flying Station, added: “The support of the people of Suffolk to the Armed Forces community based in the county, be they regular, reserve, cadet, or veteran, is fantastic.”
Suffolk residents are also invited to mark the occasion by raising a photo or video salute on social media, using the hashtag #SaluteOurForces.
This year’s Armed Forces Day events across the county form part of the of celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee under the Festival of Suffolk banner.
Together with neighbouring Mid Suffolk District Council, Babergh District Council is also celebrating the 10th year of their commitment to the Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant – a pledge by local authorities on behalf of their respective communities and statutory agencies to support our local armed forces community.