Yesterday Breckland joined thousands of councils, businesses, schools and citizens throughout the land in demonstrating their support for the Armed Forces by raising a flag outside the council offices in Dereham.
The Armed Forces Day flag was raised by Peter Sheldrake from the Dereham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion. The flag was just one of many thousands that were raised on the day around the country in the lead up to the fifth Armed Forces Day on Saturday 29 June.
Breckland Council has strong links with locally based forces, and the ceremony was attended by Warrant Officer Trevor Sturrock from RAF Marham and Second Lieutenant George Rutherford-Jones of the Light Dragoons. Breckland Council Executive Members and other elected members, including Council Leader William Nunn, Deputy Leader Michael Wassell, Breckland Chairman Paul Claussen and Chief Executive Trevor Holden were also present.
Chairman Paul Claussen presented Second Lieutenant George Rutherford-Jones of the Light Dragoons with a framed photograph, taken at the Welcome Home Parade last year. Cllr Claussen said: “It is an honour to be here today to demonstrate the Council’s support for the armed forces and our appreciation for all they do on our behalf. Many face the most desperate and difficult situations, many miles away from home and separated from loved ones, in order to protect our safety and freedom”.
Trevor Holden, Breckland Council Chief Executive paid tribute to Mr Rowland Hall BEM, who died last year. Mr Hall was the former President of the Dereham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion. Mr Holden said “Rowland has been called a legend in his own right, and I would like to echo that sentiment. He was a true gentleman who devoted countless hours of his time to helping everyone from young people with ambitions to old soldiers with problems to solve and he will be greatly missed by us all”.
The first UK Armed Forces Day took place on 27 June 2009, replacing Veterans’ Day. The 27th of June was chosen for the first Armed Forces Day as it marked the day after the anniversary of the first investiture ceremony for the Victoria Cross, held on 26 June 1857. Today Armed Forces Day is traditionally celebrated on the last Saturday of June and many organisations throughout the land raise an Armed Forces flag on the preceding Monday to show their support.