Annual Flag Raising event celebrates Oxfordshire’s armed forces community

An annual event to celebrate the role of the military took place in Oxford today (19 June) looking ahead to national Armed Forces Day on Saturday, 24 June.

Armed Forces Day is a chance for people, communities and organisations across the country to show their support for the armed forces community – from currently serving troops to service families, veterans, reservists and cadets.

The armed forces flag is being raised on buildings and landmarks around the country. Oxfordshire County Council’s flag raising event was overseen by the Chair of the council, Councillor Felix Bloomfield, in Oxford Castle Yard.

The event involved a parade by RAF Benson personnel, which was accompanied by a Puma helicopter flypast as the Armed Forces Day flag was raised. Other representatives of the RAF, Army and Royal Navy from across Oxfordshire attended, including cadets from across the forces. The Lord Lieutenant, Deputy High Sherriff and county council members and officers were among the civilian guests in attendance.

As signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant – a promise by the nation to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly – Oxfordshire County Council is proud of its strong and supportive relationship with the local armed forces community.

In his speech at the event Councillor Bloomfield said: “This is a time for us to show our appreciation for the achievements and the sacrifices made by all those who serve, or have served, in His Majesty’s armed forces. This is also a time for us to continue to do our utmost to support our armed forces community in their everyday lives.”

Reflecting on the new statutory duty for local authorities and others to have regard to the Armed Forces Covenant in how we plan and deliver our services, Cllr Bloomfield noted: “We are proud to be supportive of the Armed Forces Covenant, having been one of the first local authorities to sign it back in 2011, and we welcome how the duty strengthens our commitment.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s support to the county’s armed forces community includes:

  • Hosting and supporting regular meetings of the Oxfordshire Civilian Military Partnership Board to provide a platform for partners to hear and address the needs of the armed forces community
  • Working with local health bodies to help improve access to health and dental services for armed forces families who may be disadvantaged by relocations as part of military service
  • Supporting the county’s 3,000+ service pupils across 187 schools with initiatives such as the Voice Of The Child survey, publishing the council’s Service Pupil Promise and sharing evidence and best practice with local and national partners
  • Working closely to support military moves, such as the ongoing move of 7 Regt Royal Logistics Corps into the county, ensuring that schools, housing and other provisions are planned and made in advance 
  • Appointment of Military Champions from among elected councillors to maintain good strategic relationships with the county’s main military bases and stations

More information on the work the council does to support the armed forces is available on the website https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/council/armed-forces-oxfordshire

Meanwhile more information is available about Armed Forces Day on the national website https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/ .