RNA & RBL attend the Armed Forces Day flag-raising ceremony at Huntingdon

On Friday 27th June 2014, members of Huntingdon & District Branch attended the annual flag-raising ceremony for Armed Forces Day at Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) headquarters. The annual event was hosted by the Chairman of HDC, Cllr Alan Mackender-Lawrence with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Colonel Derek Bristow, and the Commander, 423rd Air Base Group, Colonel Stephen Sweeney as guest of honour. Shipmates Bill Small, Karl Webb, and Graham Murray from Huntingdon & District Branch were delighted to represent the Royal Naval Association.

S/Ms Bill Small and Graham Murray at the flag-raising ceremony
S/Ms Bill Small and Graham Murray at the flag-raising ceremony

The Royal British Legion turned out in style, eight RBL Standards (in addition to the Huntingdon & District Branch Standard) were paraded for the flag-raising event.

An impressive turn-out of RNA and RBL Standards
An impressive turn-out of RNA and RBL Standards

Once everyone had taken up their places, the Chair of HDC welcomed all attendees. Colonel Derek Bristow, as Deputy Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, gave us messages of support from the Lord Lieutenant and HM The Queen. Colonel Stephen Sweeney also gave a speech about the close collaboration between the US and UK Armed Forces and the mutual support between our countries.

The Chairman of HDC, Cllr Alan Mackender-Lawrence addresses all participants
The Chairman of HDC, Cllr Alan Mackender-Lawrence welcomes all participants

After the speeches, it was time for the Revd Andrew Milton (who is also the Padre for RNA Huntingdon & District Branch), to Bless the AFD flag.

The Revd Andrew Milton gives the Blessing of the Armed Forces Day Flag
The Revd Andrew Milton gives the Blessing of the Armed Forces Day Flag

The next part of the ceremony was the hoisting of the flag, this was carried out by the Chair of HDC and Colonel Bristow.

The Armed Forces Day flag is raised at the Council's headquarters
The Armed Forces Day flag is raised at the Council’s headquarters

With the flag hoisted in from of the Council offices, the Last Post was sounded by Lieutenant John Shaw, Cambridgeshire ACF Corp of Drums, Standard Bearers dipped Standards in the traditional salute.

Standards are dipped for the Last Post
Standards are dipped for the Last Post

After a minutes silence, Reveille was called to mark the end of the ceremony, Standards were carried and all personnel were dismissed. On completion, the Chair of HDC invited all participants to the Civic Suite for refreshments.

The Armed Forces Day Flag flying outside of Huntingdonshire's Council Offices
The Armed Forces Day Flag flying outside of Huntingdonshire’s Council Offices

Gallery

To see more images of the flag-raising ceremony, click on the first thumbnail below and scroll through the images.

Royal British Legion Personnel and the Mayoral party S/Ms Bill Small and Graham Murray await the start of the ceremony The Armed Forces Day Flag ready for hoisting The Chairman of HDC and VIPs get ready
The RNA and RBL Standard Bearers formed up Guests gather round for the ceremony The Chairman welcomes all attendees The Standard Bearers carry out their drills
Guests include former Councillors, armed forces, and community representatives Col Derek Bristow passes on messages from the Lord Lieutenant and HM The Queen Col Stephen Sweeney addresses the guests The Revd Andrew Milton Blesses the AFD Flag
The AFD flag is hoisted The AFD flag in front of the Council HQ Standards are dipped for the Last Post ...and raised again after the minutes silence
Standard Bearers 'fall out' Ceremony is complete The AFD Flag flying in front of the Council's HQ