17 June 2022
Thousands are expected to take part in Armed Forces Day celebrations in Medway, which has provided a home to Britain’s armed forces for hundreds of years.
Medway, in Kent, has continued to support the armed forces over the centuries and is steeped in rich military history. It is now home to the Corp of the Royal Engineers at Brompton Barracks, a stone’s throw from The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Fort Amherst - Britain’s biggest and best-preserved Napoleonic fort and nearby universities which are housed in the former HMS Pembroke.
In August 1914, the army established the No. 1 Infantry Training Centre on the Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham. The centre became the largest single-command infantry training school in the country with more than 6,000 men training at any one time.
Medway’s Armed Forces Day event will mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, as well as continue the area’s recognition of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Falklands campaign had great significance in Medway; the civilian workforce at Chatham Dockyard (as it was formerly known) worked tirelessly to prepare ships and stores in support of the fleet. The Royal Engineer units deployed during the conflict also played a prominent role and every Sapper had, at one time, served with units based in Medway.
Medway’s event will be held at The Great Lines Heritage Park, which is home to one just three Naval Port Memorials in the UK - The Chatham Port Division Memorial. The memorial commemorates more than 18,000 local men who were lost at sea during World War I and World War II.
The Green Flag award-winning park’s rich history and strong military connections demonstrates why it is so fitting that Medway’s Armed Forces Day celebrations are celebrated there.
Thousands of residents are expected to show their support for the armed forces community at this year’s celebrations on Saturday, 25 June, at The Great Lines Heritage Park, Gillingham, from 11am to 5pm.
There will be a spectacular military parade and Drumhead Service of Thanksgiving, featuring around 300 participants, led by The Band of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. The event will also see the welcome return of helicopters of the Gazelle Sqn, which will be a ground display.
There will also be a large Royal Engineer trades village with have-a-go activities for all the family to enjoy including drive-a-digger, mini-bridge buildings, a military obstacle course and blacksmithing, alongside a military bridge building display and a climbing tower with the Kent Army Cadets.
Cllr Howard Doe, Deputy Leader at Medway Council and Armed Forces Champion, said, “We are incredibly proud of Medway’s rich military history and long-standing connections with the armed forces. Medway recognises the contribution and personal sacrifices that military personnel make and we are delighted to host one of the biggest Armed Forces Day events in the country. Medway’s event provides everyone with the opportunity to show our support for the military community including serving troops, service families, veterans and cadets. Medway Council will continue to work closely with local military units to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the armed forces.”
Medway’s Armed Forces Day celebrations are sponsored by Taylor Wimpey and BAE Systems and support the council’s aspiration to make the area even more child-friendly.
In 2020 Medway Council was one of just 127 employers which was granted the gold award from the UK Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. The council signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017 which focuses on ensuring services are provided to members of the armed forces community, from education and family well-being to advice on starting a new career.
Supported by funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, the council has recently worked to create an Armed Forces Veterans Hub where veterans and their families meet others and access a range of support available as well as activities which will be decided by attendees.
Can't get to the newsagents for your copy of The Armourer? Order it online (now with free postage!) or take out a subscription and avoid the general public for the next 12 months entirely. And if you're confined to quarters, stock up on some bookazines to keep you entertained.
Buy the latest copy or any back issues, either in print or digital editions by clicking on The Armourer.
It's our latest bookazine, Tanks of WWII, a 164-page guide to the tanks, commanders and battles of WWII. With over 170 tank prototypes, variants, models from the Axis and Allied nations, plus blueprints, rare photos and 3D illustrations. This collector's bookazine can be yours for just £9.99. Click here for your copy.
Discover the story of The Blitz in WWII with this 132-page guide that covers all the military and human aspects of the Blitz. It doesn’t just look at London, it looks at all the UK cities attacked. It looks at the aircraft used, the losses and the heroic stories. It uses hundreds of original images which have been colourised to bring them to life. It costs £9.99, click here to buy your copy.
Celebrate the heroes of the Battle of Britain with a commemorative bookazine, with colour images throughout, for £8.99. Get your 164 page copy here.
Buy a copy of Aircraft of the RAF, featuring 595 flying machines, for £7.99 by clicking here.
Or how about a copy of the Collecting German Militaria bookazine for £7.99? Click here to buy this.