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Armed Forces Day marked across the Black Country and Staffordshire - with pictures and video

By Tom Oakley | Latest photos | Published: | Last Updated:

The Black Country and Staffordshire came together to show their support for servicemen and women on Armed Forces Day.

The Armed Forces march through Wolverhampton

The annual event, which has been taking place since 2009, was basked in sunshine across the region on Saturday and Sunday.

Veterans mixed with serving personnel and families at specially organised events taking place in towns and cities all over.

From the Army, to the Navy, Royal Air Force and Cadets – members of the armed forces community were celebrated across the weekend.

Among those taking part Armed Forces Day was Wolverhampton, which held a day filled with music and entertainment.

WATCH: Wolverhampton marks Armed Forces Day

Wolverhampton marks Armed Forces Day

Folk lined the streets as a military parade – led by The Band of the Mercian Regiment – marched from Dudley Street to Queen Square before it culminated with a flag-lowering ceremony.

And the likes of retro vocal harmony trio Miss Fortunes and the Cosford Military Wives Choir performed to the patriotic crowds.

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Sylvia Parkin MBE, Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands, addressed the crowds at Queen Square before inspecting the personnel with Mayor Councillor Phil Page following the parade.

She said: "Armed Forces Day is a magnificent chance for the city to show its support to the men and women who make up the armed forces community - from currently serving troops, to service families, veterans and cadets.

"It also gives us a chance to recognise the role of the armed forces and veterans and thank those men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country."

The event took place from 11am to 4pm – and veterans and service personnel were invited to the Civic Centre after for a ceremony.

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PICTURES from Wolverhampton's event

Mike Birch, aged 71, of Parkfields, joined veterans as a flag-bearer in honour of his father Alfred Birch, who served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

He said: "I thought it went very well. We've had a very good turnout but in Wolverhampton we normally do.

"In the city, people think a lot of their serviceman, veterans and ex-servicemen. It was very warm to be a part of it.

"I don't think Armed Forces Day is important but vital. Once we started forgetting what our armed forces have done we might as well throw the towell in."

Each year the day is celebrated on the last Saturday of June but the celebrations began on Monday when the Armed Forces Day flag is raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country.

And in Stafford, displays took place in Market Square to mark the event on Saturday, organised by the Stafford branch of the Royal British Legion.

Several charities and regiments were present on the day including soldiers, sailors, airmen, the Staffordshire Regiment, Royal British Legion Bikers, Royal Engineers Association and more.

Scene in Stafford for Armed Forces Day

President of the Stafford branch of the Royal British Legion, Chas Dale, was delighted with how the day went.

He added: "We've had a brilliant day. It was very well supported by all the local people and all of our stores and charities were well supported.

"The Mayor visited us for a couple of hours and the sun shine really brought people out, who brought their generosity with them.

"I think it's important that we show some respect to the armed forces community who often don't get the praise they deserve.

"Armed Forces Day is a nice way of showing them our support.

"We support serving soldiers and veterans and their dependants too. It's a really wide community that we look after."

Elsewhere in the region, Sandwell celebrated the occasion and Dartmouth Park played host to the event between 11am and 5pm on Saturday.

PICTURES from Sandwell's event

There was a military parade in the morning as well as family fun, children's activities, entertainment and music from the Halesowen Brass Band.

At Dudley's Himley Hall, there was a display of current and historical military vehicles a well as Punch and Judy shows, vintage vocal harmony group The Bluebird Belles and more.

Visitors also enjoyed themed history talks in the hall – with the event organised to mark 100 years since the formation of the Royal Air Force and the end of the Great War.

PICTURES from Dudley's event

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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