An annual event to celebrate the role of the military took place in Oxford today (June 19) ahead of national Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 24.

Armed Forces Day is a chance for people, communities and organisations across the country to show their support for the armed forces community – from currently serving troops to service families, veterans, reservists and cadets.

The armed forces flag is being raised on building and landmarks around the country.

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Oxfordshire County Council’s flag raising event today (June 19) was overseen by the chairman of the council Felix Bloomfield in Oxford Castle Yard.

The event involved a parade by RAF Benson personnel, which was accompanied by a Puma helicopter flypast as the Armed Forces Day flag was raised.

Oxford Mail:

Other representatives of the RAF, Army and Royal Navy from across Oxfordshire attended, including cadets from across the forces.

The lord lieutenant, deputy high sheriff and county council members and officers were among the civilian guests in attendance.

Oxfordshire County Council is one of the signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant– a promise by the nation to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

In his speech at the event, Mr Bloomfield said: “This is a time for us to show our appreciation for the achievements and the sacrifices made by all those who serve, or have served, in His Majesty’s armed forces.

“This is also a time for us to continue to do our utmost to support our armed forces community in their everyday lives.”

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Mr Bloomfield added: “We are proud to be supportive of the Armed Forces Covenant, having been one of the first local authorities to sign it back in 2011, and we welcome how the duty strengthens our commitment.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s support to the county’s armed forces community includes:

  • Hosting and supporting regular meetings of the Oxfordshire Civilian Military Partnership Board to provide a platform for partners to hear and address the needs of the armed forces community.
  • Working with local health bodies to help improve access to health and dental services for armed forces families who may be disadvantaged by relocations as part of military service. 
  • Supporting the county’s 3,000 plus service pupils across 187 schools with initiatives such as the Voice Of The Child survey, publishing the council’s Service Pupil Promise and sharing evidence and best practice with local and national partners.