Leeds ,

Leeds to mark Armed Forces Day 2015 with a packed programme of activities and events

A special day of activities are set to held in Leeds later this month as the city once again recognises and celebrates the selfless courage and commitment of personnel serving in the British Armed Forces.

Held as part of national Armed Forces Day, the people of Leeds will have the opportunity to thank members of the Armed Forces and find out more about the different jobs and work that they do from 11am-4pm on June 27 2015 through a free event in the city centre on Victoria Gardens, Cookridge Street and the front of Leeds Town Hall.

Hosted by the new Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Judith Chapman, the day will feature a variety of entertainment including a 1940s Majorettes wartime show and local band Alligator Gumbo; activities for children and young people including a crafts tent, a climbing wall and a night vision experience; a 24 tonnes Multiple Launch Rocket System and other military vehicles. Also on offer will be a range of charity and military linked stalls. In what is also something not to be missed, rounding off the event will be, weather permitting, a stunning Spitfire flyover over Victoria Gardens and the city centre at approximately 15.30pm.

As part of the event there will be two parades. The 4th Yorkshire Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment will be exercising their right to parade through the city. Following an inspection by the Lord Mayor in Millennium Square at 12noon, the Freedom of the City parade will set off at 12:15pm and make its way through the city centre before coming back to Victoria Gardens. Another parade, including military personnel, veterans and cadets, led by the 148 (Barnsley) Sqn ATC Band will set off soon afterwards from Millennium Square and loop past Victoria Gardens.

To kick-off the Armed Forces Day celebrations, the Lord Mayor will also be raising the Armed forces Day flag at 11am in Victoria Gardens on Monday 22 June. The Armed Forces Day Flag will also be displayed on civic buildings both before and on Armed Forces Day.

Leeds has a proud historic link with the British Armed Forces, and in 2012 the council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant. This covenant ensures that a variety of support, help and guidance is available to in-service personnel, veterans and their families. In 2015, Leeds City Council also signed up to support a project by the Armed Forces charity RBLI (Royal British Legion Industries) on an initiative called RBLI LifeWorks courses to reduce levels of unemployment among ex-service personnel living in the region.

Present at the official launch of Armed Forces Day 2015 were Leeds City Council’s Armed Forces

Champion Cllr Graham Hyde, Captain David Sixsmith from 269 Battery Royal Artillery and the Lord

Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Judith Chapman.

To keep up to date on Armed Forces Day, please see: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Events/Pages/armed-forces-day-2015.aspx

If you would like to contribute to the event, please contact Alex Hannant at alex.hannant@leeds.gov.uk

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Judith Chapman said:

“We are extremely proud as a city to be playing our part in the national Armed Forces Day celebrations, which will provide an opportunity for the people of Leeds on June 27 to come together and show members of our Armed Forces how much we appreciate and value the job that they do right around the world.

“An event such as this one does not happen by accident by the hard work of so many people, and as always we would like to extend our massive thanks to council staff, representatives of all the services in the military along with charities, groups and organisations for their expertise, help and guidance.”

Cllr Graham Hyde, Leeds City Council’s armed forces champion said:

“The reception and desire by people to get involved in Leeds’ Armed Forces Day is getting bigger every year, and the 2015 programme is one of the best yet as we look forward to a parade, stalls, various entertainment, and even a Spitfire flyover.

“This promises to be another fantastic day and plays an important part in our overall programme throughout the year working closely with the Armed Forces and its charities. This includes providing meaningful support for in-service personnel, veterans and their families through our Armed Forces Community Covenant and initiatives such as RBLI LifeWorks courses.”

David Marshall, Chairman of Leeds group, The Royal British Legion said:

“We are very pleased that the city of Leeds will once again be embracing Armed Forces Day this year, which is a great way in which to show you support for our troops.

“We are also receiving some excellent feedback regarding the assistance which is being provided through the Community Covenant, and I look forward to the authority continuing the good work in supporting our armed forces in the future.”


Notes to editors:

Leeds Armed Forces Day is being supported by the Ministry of Defence.

For more details regarding the British Armed Forces, please see the following websites: British Army: www.army.mod.uk Royal Air Force: http://www.raf.mod.uk/ and Royal Navy: http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/

Alligator Gumbo are a Leeds based band playing traditional New Orleans jazz, with upbeat tempos, entertaining improvisations and foot-stomping swinging rhythms. Playing popular songs from the heyday of the early jazz era, the 'roaring 20s'.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk