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You are here: What's On > Armed Forces Weekend

Armed Forces Weekend

The Hoe

Tel: 01752 306330

Add Armed Forces Weekend to your Itinerary

©UK MOD Crown Copyright 2011

Opening Times

25 Jun 2016 - 26 Jun 2016

Plymouth Armed Forces Week is an annual event held in support of the national Armed Forces Day initiative.

With 50,000 attending the event last year we are continuing to improve our annual event on the glorious Plymouth Hoe, and with this in mind we are developing a spectacular two day event which will be known as Armed Forces Weekend, in association with Babcock International.

The Armed Forces Weekend will be held on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June 2016 and new events include The Rifles freedom of the City parade, 29 CDO Royal Artillery’s Feu de Joie, the Devonport Field Gun’s Assoc. new junior field gun competition and a brand new afternoon Airshow.

We are working in partnership with the Tri-Services and key partners to deliver this event.


The intention of the day for Plymouth is to say a big Thank You to the Armed Services, their families and our veterans.

The aim of the event from the MOD; is to raise awareness of and support for our Armed Forces community and celebrate the outstanding contribution it makes to our country.

So our plans to date include:

Saturday 25
10am - 10.30pm

The Hoe site will showcase the services in a variety of ‘Villages’, Static displays, Arena displays, Air displays, Parades, Military vehicles and an evening entertainment stage.

The Villages and Arena Displays

Veterans Village Sponsored by Royal British Legion
The Veterans Centre marquee will contain approx.40 individual stalls, outside the marquee there will be other trailers and gazebos. It is expected that over 55 organisations and charities will be located in this village.

Action on Hearing Loss
Age UK Plymouth
Armed Forces Bikers
Association of Wrens
Battling On CIC
Brixham Battery Heritage Group
Charity Crafter - Alzheimers Fundraiser
Devon & Somerset FRS
Devon and Dorset Regiments
Devon Freemasons
Devon Freewheelers
Devonport Field Gun Assoc
Federation of Plymouth and District Services Associations
Forces Support
G4RLF Vintage Wireless
Healing Hands Network
Healthwatch Plymouth
Heart Radio
Help For Heroes
Help For Heroes (Devon Team)
Heroes on the Water
HM Coastguard
HMS Ganges Association
HMS Heroes
Lions Club International
Livewell Southwest
Maritime Archaeology Trust
Maritime Books Ltd
Military Wives Choir
National Gulf Veterans and Families Association
Network Rail
Opportunity Knocks Project
Plym Valley Railway
Plymouth East Division Girl Guiding
Plymouth Guild
Plymouth History Centre
Plymouth Homes for Veterans
Plymouth Philatelic Society
Plymouth Radio Club
Plymouth Scouts
Radio Plymouth
RMA (RM Support Network)
Rotary Club of Plymouth Mayflower
Royal Air Forces Association
Royal British Legion Riders Branch
Royal Engineer ASSC Plymouth
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Associations
Royal Marines Association Plymouth and District Branch
Royal Naval Medical Branch and Sick Berth Staff Association
Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare
Royal Tank Regiment Association Plymouth Branch
Sanctuary Supported Living
Scotty's Little Soldiers
Sea Cadet Corps
Seafarers UK Plymouth Committee
South Devon Parachute Regimental Association
Thales UK Ltd
The Chestnut Appeal for Prostate Cancer
The Herald
The Poppy Factory
The Royal British Legion
The Royal Naval Pre School Learning Organisation
The Salvation Army
Turn to Starboard
Type 21 Club
Volunteer Plymouth
War Widows Association of Great Britain
Women's Royal Army Corp

Hidden Heritage Living History Zone featuring:
An exhibition on Plymouth Blitz
Re-enactors from WW2 and Napoleonic era

Royal Naval Village

Southern Diving Unit with MIB, IED truck, EOD Hilux, EOD Team, static display, Robot plus demonstration dive tank with divers performing challenging underwater tasks
Royal Naval Association – Static display
Thales Underwater Systems - Interactive training technology
Babcock Submarine – Static display
RN Devonport Heritage Centre – shop and heritage centre display
Military Defence Police with their rib
Royal Marine Cadets – Drum and Drill display
Sea Cadets Corps – Drill display
Explosive Group – Weapons display
Derriford Medical Group SW – Static display
China Fleet Club – Static display
Royal Naval reserves (HMS Vivid) – Static display
30CDO Royal Marines with RWIMIK, BV, Air Defence Stance and Royal Marine shop
Pixieland Nursery
Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity – Static display
RN/RM Recruitment – MRV Vehicle
Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare

HMS Raleigh Training School static display with SA80’s.

Army Village
Army and 29 CDO RA displays and exhibitions supported by various hardware. Confirmed to date include:

165 Port & Marine Regt with 265 Port Squadron Royal Logistics Corps
300 Troop and131 Independent Commando Squadron
243 Field Hospital Royal Army Medical Corps
ACC Plymouth
383 Commando Petroleum Troop RLC
6 Rifles
130 Field Company and 105 Battalion Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers
289 Troop and 104 Regt Royal Artillery

RAF Village
RAF St Mawgan
Survival Equipment Display and Defence SERE Organisation
Paintball Stand
AFCO/505 (Wessex) Sqn Recruiting Stand

Emergency services displays:

Fire Service
Two Vintage Fire Engines
Road Safety Trailer
Static Fire Engine display
Free Home Safety Visits information
Marquee/Events van
Heritage Van
FSG Divers/Boat
Cops and Robbers photo board
Camera Safety Van
Police Traffic Car and Bike
Land rover, rib and equipment

Other activities and displays
SSAFA Rally for Heroes car
The Herald
Radio Plymouth
Heart Radio

Commercial areas
Mercedes – Benz
Network Rail
Thales Group (in RN Village)
Vodafone UK
Hybrid Gym

The Event Programme

9.30 - 10.30: The annual RAF and Allied Air Forces Monument Service supported by the Royal Marine Band, Plymouth in the Arena

11.00: Veterans parade on the Hoe including over 30 Royal British Legion Standards 
The annual parade of standards including standards, veterans and cadets across the Hoe Promenade. All veterans are invited to join the parade led by the Royal Marine Band, Plymouth

11.00-15.00: Plymouth Youth Music Service (PYMS) Stage
Stage programme featuring young local musicians and singers

11.25: RM Cadets Corps of Drums and Drill Display team in the Arena

11.55 -12.15: HMS Raleigh Training School Arms Drill Display with the Royal Marine Band, Plymouth in the Arena

12.15 -12.30: Military Kids Choir and Community Covenant Speech on the main stage

12.30 - Plymouth Drake Sea Cadets in the Arena

12.55 -13.55: Company B - 7 piece rowdy energetic jump jive band that bring an era of musical vintage bang up to date with their show performance on the main stage

14.00: The Rifles Freedom of the City Parade and led by The Rifles Band and Bugles
The marching contingent, will be composed of 2x Guards Units, together with Old Comrades of the Light Infantry Association and the Devon and Dorset Regimental Association who will form up in the Royal Citadel.

There will be approx. 250 in the parade from the 4th Battalion and from 6 rifles reservists.

The parade will be stepping out of the Citadel and led by The Band of The Rifles and Bugles; the parade route will be as follows:
Hoe Road leading onto Citadel Road, turning left up Elliot Street and onto the Hoe. The parade will proceed across the promenade. The Parade will then return to the Citadel via Hoe Road.

The old comrades will follow marching directly up onto the Hoe promenade via Hoe Road.

15.00: HMNB Devonport V HMS Raleigh  Field Gun Competition in the Arena. Babcock Cup Presentation in the Arena

16.00: Jnr Field Gun Run. RM Volunteer cadet Corp. V Pennycross Primary School in the Arena

16.20: SW Massed Pipe Band in the Arena

16.40-17.00: RAF Air Cadets continuity drill display team in the Arena

Air Displays sponsored by UTC Aerospace Systems
17.00: Yakolevs Air Display
17.14: Muscle Pitts ultimate high energy aerobatics biplane

17.24: Ends

The Evening Stage Entertainment Programme

Sponsored by C. And. G. Catering

17.25-17.55: Military Wives Choir
18.00-19.00: The Function Band of HM Royal Marines Band Plymouth
19.05-19.55: Phil Collins tribute - straight out of the tribute top drawer
20.00-21.15: Red Hot Chilli Pipers – the most famous bagpipe band on the planet…it’s Bagrock!
21.30-22.30: Birmingham Blues Brothers – On a Mission in Plymouth

Sunday 26
10am - 4pm

Most static displays and the Merlin helicopter will remain on site

09.00 - 11.00 & 13.45 - 15.05: Junior Field Gun competition with competition trophy presentations at 14.45pm
The Devonport Field Gun Association will mount the first ever Junior Field Gun Tournament as part of Plymouth Armed Forces Weekend. It is expected that teams from nine Primary Schools wil take part in the Tournament, each entering a total of 12 crews.

Each crew will have a 15 minute 'warm up' before running three times in competition against another crew on the Plymouth Hoe Arena.

11.25 -12.30: Feu de Joie from 29 CMDO Royal Artillery Citadel with Royal Marine Band, Plymouth

12.30 -12.50: 32nd Cornwall Regiment of Foot (Napoleonic era) drill display, marching and musket firing display

Air Displays sponsored by UTC Aerospace Systems 

13.00: The Red Devils Parachute Display Team
13.17: BBMF RAF Dakota
13.24: TRIG Display Team
13.36: Strikemaster Jet
13.48: Muscle Pitts ultimate high energy aerobatics biplane
15.10: MIG 15 Jet Fighter
15.20: Yak 50 Display
15.32: The RN Blackcats Display Team
15.44: The Blades Display Team

16.00: End

*The above may be subject to change

Other Activities during Armed Forces week

Armed Forces Day Flag Raising event
There will be a Flag raising ceremony in front of the Guildhall at 10am on Monday 20 June which launches the week. Followed by a civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor where veteran’s badges will be presented to nominated candidates. Military vehicles and equipment will be located on Guildhall Square.

Children and Young People’s Services have planned the following activity.

HMS Heroes service Children’s Voice Awards: The HMS Heroes Ambassadors (age 14+) are planning and will deliver an HMS Heroes awards evening on the Wednesday of AF Week.

This group represents approx. 2,500 children and young people of service and veterans' families in Plymouth.

They have clubs in 53 Plymouth Schools and are over 9000 strong internationally, growing daily. The awards event will recognise the work of clubs and individuals in Plymouth and the categories will be set by the young people in collaboration with the wider group. The evening will build upon the 2015 event, which took place by kind permission of 30 CDO RM, in their Globe Theatre, and will see 10 awards presented. Entertainment will be provided by the Plymouth Youth Concert band and the Military Kids Choir. There will be a guard of honour provided by RBL standard bearers.

•  A competition for art and design which will be run through all Plymouth schools linking with the AFW programme, the winning entry will be the design of Plymouth’s 2015 AFD badge. The badge raises funds for the Poppy Appeal and raised £2000 in 2015.
Other designs will also feature throughout our AFW event brochure.

•  The HMS Heroes small marquee will be staffed by children and young people and will provide a free art activity to visitors. This will also be an information point for the group and for families wishing to seek advice about education in Plymouth.

•  Serving personnel in uniform and Veterans will visit schools to discuss their experiences

•  For the 3 weeks, including and either side of AFW, Junior Life skills, supported by the RN at their Bull Point site, will take place. This is a special offer to year 6 children and enables them to learn about how to cope with health and safety issues in the home and their wider environment. Across the project over 2,000 11 year olds will participate. This event is also supported by partners including: City Bus; Western Electrical; Peninsula Medical School; First Great Western; D&C Constabulary; D&S Fire Service, PCC IT Consultancy and the RNLI.

For the past 8 years our Children and Young Peoples Services have managed an extensive programme of visits to HM Naval Base Devonport, HMS Raleigh; 42 Commando and the Royal Citadel. Our Council’s Children’s and Young Peoples directorate are planning a similar programme for 2016 in which over 3,000 young people will be involved.

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