Armed Forces Day: Scarborough to host 'unforgettable' national event as Royal Navy reveal latest plans

Plans are underway to bring an "unforgettable" Armed Forces Day to Scarborough this summer, the Royal Navy has revealed.

By George Buksmann
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 12:40 pm
The hosting by Scarborough of a national Armed Forces Day in 2020 was postponed; instead the Red Arrows flew over to pay tribute to the armed forces. (Photo: MoD/Crown copyright)
The hosting by Scarborough of a national Armed Forces Day in 2020 was postponed; instead the Red Arrows flew over to pay tribute to the armed forces. (Photo: MoD/Crown copyright)

Twice postponed due to the pandemic, the town is set to hold the national celebration event on Saturday June 25.

At a meeting of the full council at the end of January, the portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, Cllr Tony Randerson, revealed the latest update into plans for the big day.

"It's magnificent for the borough, but plans are still ongoing," Cllr Randerson said. "There are numerous things planned as you would normally visit on National Armed Forces Day such as the Red Arrows. We've got two adopted ships in Scarborough [and] all things being well, they will be mooring off the coast."

Armed Forces personnel march in Scarborough at 2019's event.

Organisers said further updates are set to be released in March where various events are planned to mark 100 days to go until the event, including "stunts" in Scarborough.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: "[We are] hard at work with Scarborough Council to put on an unforgettable national event for Armed Forces Day 2022.

"It's the Royal Navy’s turn to lead the planning this year, but the British Army and Royal Air Force will be represented in Scarborough at the celebrations, as well as the wider Armed Forces community of veterans, cadets and families too."

Scarborough has two ships affiliated with the town: HMS Duncan, a Type 45 destroyer that recently underwent a refit, and tanker RFA Wave Ruler, which is not active presently.

Sea Cadets march on Armed Forces Day in Scarborough in 2019.

Cllr Randerson said that "hopefully" trips can be organised over to the two ships, but that plans have not been finalised.

The Royal Navy said for security reasons it cannot reveal the attendance of specific ships until much closer to the time, with planning ongoing at Whitehall.

The event, which attracts more than 200,000 people and figures including the Prime Minister, was meant to be held in the summers of 2020 and 2021 but was twice postponed due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

Armed Forces Day is a national celebration and public show of support for those currently serving in the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force as well as veterans, reservists and their families.

Supporting the troops by the harbour in Scarborough in 2019.

"I have my fingers crossed that it goes ahead and Covid doesn't scupper us again because this is fantastic news for Scarborough and the borough," Cllr Randerson said.

Events are being planned for Whitby and Filey, and they have not been "forgotten about", he added.

Celebrations begin on Monday June 20 when the Armed Forces Day flag is raised around the country.

'Terrific' event ahead, says PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that Scarborough will put on a “spectacular” event when the town hosts Armed Forces Day later this year.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions on January 19, Mr Johnson was asked by Scarborough and Whitby MP Sir Robert Goodwill if he will "pull out all the stops on land, sea and air to make it an event to remember".

Mr Johnson said: "I've no doubt that Armed Forces Day will be spectacular across the country and that Scarborough will make a terrific and notable contribution."