Armed Forces Week 2021
Armed Forces Week 2021 is taking place from Monday 21 June until Sunday 27 June. It is an important annual event celebrating the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community which includes those currently serving, those who have served (veterans), their families and our young cadets.
It is a great way for our community to show our support and appreciation for all they have done, and are doing, on our behalf.
Although we are not holding our usual eventon Stockton High Street due to the Coronavirus, that doesn't mean we can't celebrate our armed forces community and give them the admiration, respect and support that they deserve.
We've set up this page with the help of our friends from the armed forces community to give you a flavour of what we had planned for this week.
We hope you enjoy it, and look forward to celebrating in person with you next year.
Formal addresses for Armed Forces Week 2021 from:
- The Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Kevin Faulks
- Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner
- Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon
- Reverand Bill Braviner, the Mayor's Consort
Armed Forces Activity Book
Our friends at Abby+Owen have created a children's activity book to work through with lots of armed forces themed activities for you to enjoy.
You can download the booklet to print out and complete at home.
Performances and entertainment
Katy Levin puts on some spectacular performances of wartime classics for you to enjoy.
Making a paper garland for the Armed Forces
Here's how to make a paper door garland for Armed Forces Week with Peg Creations! All you need is:
A paper plate
Paper cupcake cups (red, white and blue)
Coloured tissue paper
Scissors (make sure you have an adult to help you!)
Other Kids Crafts
Make some special ‘Thank you’ posters for your armed forces Heroes – just print them off and colour them in.
Make your own ‘flyover’ by colouring pictures of planes from World War II, using the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster; or you could use more modern planes like the Harrier, Tornado, Nimrod, or Phantom.
Oral Histories - Recording veterans' memories
Listen to Dr Tosh Warwick as he speaks to three veterans about their lives in and out of the armed forces for Armed Forces Day 2021 on Soundcloud.
Get involved in supporting the Armed Forces Community
Businesses or organisations can make a public pledge of support. Our Borough has a long and proud tradition of supporting the forces community. The Council proudly declared its support by signing an Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, which has recently been updated. We would encourage all local businesses and organisations that have not signed one yet to do so. For more information about this contact [email protected].
Make a donation or raise funds – three Regiments have the Freedom of our Borough (Yorkshire Regiment, 1 Close Support REME and The Rifles) recognising their outstanding contribution to our community. This is a chance to help them by contributing to their charities, which support their own veterans, including those severely wounded. So if you can, please consider making a donation, which can be sent directly to the Regiments using the contact details on the links above, or contact the Mayor’s Office.
You could also do a fundraising event for them, or another forces charity that you want to help – for example Combat Stress, the veterans’ mental health charity, has launched a Battle of the Burgers fundraising initiative for people raise funds by hosting an armed forces themed barbeque.
Learn more about the Armed Forces
Take park in thre Military Preparation College for Training (MPCT) helping local 16-19-year olds develop their fitness, get vocational qualifications and improve their employability skills through training and education. The ideal place to help decide if a military career is for you.
Check out the wonderful window display by the Stockton and Yarm Branch of the Royal British Legion in the Wellington Square Shopping Centre, Stockton Town Centre. It’s part of their 100th Anniversary celebrations. They were one of the very first RBL branches set up in May 1921 to help veterans after the First World War.
Take a look at the amazing photos and videos at the Armed Forces Day Facebook page and leave your own short message.
Have a go at learning how each section of the armed forces does their salute and then have a go yourself. Why not teach the people you live with how to do it. Join the national ‘salute’ to the Forces through the #SALUTEOURFORCES campaign. Just send a photo or video of yourself saluting them.
Watch the children’s Life in the Armed Forces series of short videos on the Fun Kids website.
A message from the Borough's Armed Forces Champion
Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council said: “As the Armed Forces Champion for the Borough, I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks for the service of all our armed forces personnel whether actively serving or retired.
“It is their selfless commitment, endeavour and sacrifice that helps to keep us all safe at home and abroad, we should never forget that.
“While we have to stick with marking Armed Forces Week under the current restrictions, there’s still so much that you and your family and friends can do to show your appreciation for our forces.
“We have a very proud and longstanding association with our armed forces here in Stockton-on-Tees and I’d encourage everyone to visit our website to see how they can get involved this year.”
More videos to watch
Encourage others to join in celebrating our armed forces. Check out the information and links below and pass them on:
- Here are a few highlights of the vital work of the Armed Forces in 2020 (2 mins).
- Check out the pilot’s view during a Red Arrows fly past (54 secs).
- See what it’s like flying a Typhoon jet very low through a series of valleys in Wales (4 mins: 58 secs).
- A special performance of “We’ll meet again” by Katherine Jenkins and Dame Vera Lynn at the Royal Albert Hall (3 mins: 40 secs).
- A medley of ‘war time’ songs in tribute to our veterans and those serving today (5 mins: 29 secs).
- Watch and hear a parade of vintage military vehicle & motorcycles through Aberdeen for their 2019 Armed Forces Day (5 mins).
- A fantastic tribute to the British Armed Forces by Actor and Director, Kevin Costner's (2 mins: 52 secs).
- See what happens when Tom Hanks meets a Royal Marine veteran (2 mins: 8 secs).
- Two female WW2 pilots share some of their amazing experiences with Ewan and Colin McGregor (2 mins: 4 secs).
- Funny percussion duet by HM Royal Marines Band (6 mins: 20 secs).
- British Army musicians flashmob surprises shoppers in Gateshead's Metrocentre (4mins: 22 secs)
- Visit the Veterans Video Archive to learn about our military history through the personal recollections of the men and women who witnessed it first-hand.
- Enjoy a virtual tour round the Royal Air Force Museum. If you’re inspired, you can visit their museums at Colindale in North London, and Cosford in Shropshire. Entry is free.
Resources for schools
Key Stage 2 – Short History videos by the BBC
- VE Day and the end of World War II
- The Battle of Britain and beyond
- D-Day and why it was such a big turning point in World War II
- Codebreaking During World War II
Special BBC video tributes to:
- HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (1921 – 2021) – born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, he abandoned these titles to become a naturalised British subject. During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Royal Navy. He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947, nearly 5 years before she became Queen. The longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family, he retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements and 5,493 speeches since 1952. He died on 9 April 2021, two months before his 100th birthday.
- Captain Tom , the inspirational veteran who raised over £32 million for our NHS in time for his 100th birthday – receiving over 150,000 birthday cards, a knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen, and becoming an honorary colonel.
- Bear Grylls OBE – was a Reservist with the UK Special Forces as part of 21 SAS. After breaking his back in a parachuting accident, he fought his way to recovery, and two years later became the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest, aged only 23. He is well-known as an adventurer, survival instructor, television presenter and being the Chief Scout.
- Simon Weston CBE is a veteran of the British Army who served during the Falklands War. He was severely burned when the ship he was on, HMS Sir Galahad was bombed. He is well-known for his charity work and the courage and determination he has shown to recover from his life-changing injuries.
- Heather Stanning – is a serving Major with the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery. She and Helen Glover, became the first British female rowers to win an Olympic title (London 2012) and the first to successfully defend their crown four years later (Rio 2016). She resumed her career after the London Olympics with a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2013.
- Lance Corporal Bobby Charlton & Gordon Banks both completed their national service and were two of five England's 1966 World Cup winners to did so!