ORGANISERS are pulling out all the stops to ensure armed forces celebrations in Weymouth and Portland are one to remember this year.

It has been confirmed there will be a flypast by a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight as part of the celebrations which will also include a major military parade.

The event is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the tireless work carried out by veterans and their associations.

Those involved in events gathered at Osprey Leisure Centre on Portland yesterday as part of the preparations.

Organisers from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council announced that the Armed Forces Day celebrations, which will be held from Saturday, June 23 to Monday, June 25, had been boosted by a £6,500 grant from the Ministry of Defence.

Organisers were also delighted to confirm the Spitfire flypast would take place at 11am on Sunday, June 24 to coincide with the start of the service of remembrance (subject to weather conditions).

The festivities will kick off on the Saturday from 10am with a line-up of historic military vehicles at Weymouth Pavilion forecourt. There will be charity stalls and disp0lays along the seafront.

The vehicles leave the Pavilion in a convoy to Portland to be part of the '1940s comes to Portland’ event from 1pm to 4pm at Osprey Leisure Centre.

Stands and displays full of information from various veterans agencies and charity organisations will be set up.

Visitors will also be entertained by singers The Decadettes.

A major military parade with almost 2,000 proud marching veterans, marching bands and more than 80 historic military vehicles will take place on Sunday morning. This will be preceded by an open-air service at the war memorial on Weymouth seafront.

The Navy division will lead this year’s parade accompanied by the South Wales Police band; other bands featured in this year’s parade will be Wessex Military Band, Dolphin Marching Band and The Guards Division Corps of Drum Association.

Once the parade has passed, the military vehicle convoy will follow presented by the Military Vehicle Trust then the Royal British Legion Riders Branch.

Borough council tourism and culture briefholder Cllr Richard Kosior said: “Weymouth and Portland is very proud to have the event skills and community support to stage one of the country’s leading and most popular annual veteran’s events.

“The borough and its residents embrace every aspect of the celebrations and looks forward to giving a warm and hospitable welcome to many thousands of veterans, armed forces personnel and their visiting family and friends from around Britain and overseas.”


Saturday 23 June

* Static historic military vehicle display (Pavilion Forecourt 10am-12.30pm)

* New Plaque Unveiling Ceremony to remember the Residents of Weymouth and Portland who died in Service for their Country since 1945 (Weymouth Cenotaph 11am)

* 1940’s comes to Portland Free event for all the family – 1940’s displays, exhibition and entertainment from The Decadettes (1pm – 4pm Osprey Leisure Centre, Castletown)

* Historic military vehicle convoy to Portland (leaving Weymouth Pavilion 1pm)

* Ex - Service Association awareness and fundraising stalls together with welfare and information stalls such as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) and Veterans Agency Advise Bureau (All Day on the Esplanade)

Sunday 24 June

* Open Air Church Service, Veterans Parade and Vehicle Convoy (11am) – Weymouth seafront (parade route Pier Bandstand\cenotaph to Weymouth Pavilion)

*Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire fly past – over Weymouth Bay (11am)

*Band Performances (from 1pm) – Weymouth Pavilion forecourt

* Historic military vehicle static display (from 1pm) – Weymouth seafront

* Ex-Service Association awareness and fundraising stalls together with welfare and information stalls such as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) and Veterans Agency Advise Bureau (all day on the Esplanade)

Monday 25 June

Fly a Flag for our Armed Forces. Flag raising ceremony - Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Offices, Commercial Road 10.30am