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Home   Medway   News   Article

Preparations for Armed Forces Day at the Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham almost complete

28 June 2013
by Nicola Jordan

Ceremonies at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Ceremonies at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Preparations for Medway’s Armed Forces Day tomorrow (Saturday) are nearly complete.

Organisers say the free military pageant, the biggest to be held in the Towns, is already attracting huge interest.

Bill Fowler, who along with Medway Council has helped to put the event together, was marking up the 20-acre site at the Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham this week as the final touches were put in place.

He said: "It’s going to be stunning. People will be blown away by it. People are stopping us and saying they will be coming. Others are asking for posters to promote it. The atmosphere is building up and there is a general sense of excitement."

This year a musical extravaganza has been arranged to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of National Service.

Sounds from the 1950s through to the 1980s will fill the air up until the finale at 9pm.

Highlight of the day for many will be the grand parade in which hundreds of veterans, serving personnel and cadets are expected to take part.

It starts at the bandstand at 12.30pm and will be followed by a drumhead service.

A series of bands will share the same venue throughout the afternoon.

Among the attractions at the main arena will be displays from the 71st Highlanders, the City of Rochester Pipe Band and RM Cadets.

Historic Dockyard, Chatham. Armed Forces Day

A previous year's Armed Forces Day celebrations

Sea Cadets will demonstrate a naval gun run and sappers from Brompton’s RSME will be showing off their bridge-building skills.

The afternoon will finish at 5pm with the traditional Beat Retreat ceremony.

Among the acts performing on the main stage in the evening will be the Jive Aces, Swingtime Sweethearts, the Military Wives Choir and The Orange Pips.

During the day children will be kept entertained at a funfair and at 2.30pm there will be an inter-squadron tug-of-war.

The event is being backed by BAE Systems and the KM Group.

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