Flag raising marks the start of Armed Forces Week 2020

A flag raising ceremony took place on the 26th June at 10.30am outside Guildford Cathedral to mark the start of Armed Forces Week. Mr Michael More-Molyneux, Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey raised the Armed Forces Day flag with the Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams, Dean of Guildford. They were joined by Shahid Azeem DL, High Sheriff of Surrey; Anthony Samuels, Chairman of Surrey County Council; Colonel John Baynham, Deputy Commander of 11 Infantry Brigade South East and Steve Owen Hughes, Chief Fire Officer and Veteran. The Rt Revd Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford was also present.

Also in attendance were Maj-Gen Tim Sulivan CB CBE DL, Brigadier Paul Evans OBE DL, Col Patrick Crowley DL and Canon Peter Bruinvels CC.

Sadly, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hundreds of events taking place cross the county to celebrate Armed Forces Week have been cancelled. You can watch a video of the ceremony below.

Mr More-Molyneux said, “Armed Forces Day is a chance for us all to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community. From currently serving troops to service families, ex-service personnel and Veterans and Cadets.

“Surrey is considered very much by the MoD as a ‘military friendly’ county and as Lord-Lieutenant, I am very proud of that reputation. Having seen at first hand, our local forces supporting the NHS in the fight against COVID-19, I am very pleased to give a very public ‘thank you’ to them all today for a job really well done.

Surrey hosts four Army bases with 6200 service personnel and their families as well as 1,274 service children living in Surrey, four Reserve Centres with over 200 Reservists and nearly 2,750 Tri-Service Cadets. Additionally, Surrey is home to over 42,000 ex-service personnel and Veterans.

The Dean expressed her delight at hosting this celebratory event at the Cathedral “‘It is always a great pleasure to host military events here at Guildford Cathedral. We have held many memorable events in partnership with the military.”

Surrey County Council is celebrating Armed Forces Week by asking residents to post photographs of them and their loved ones who have served our country to their Facebook and Twitter.