Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Armed Forces Week 2020

armed forces header

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Armed Forces Week 2020 is taking place from Monday 22 June until Friday 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.

Unfortunately, our usual event on Stockton High Street has been cancelled due to coronavirus, but 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.



Stockton-on-Tees has a strong relationship with the Rifles. This year's events would have featured a live performance of the Sound of Retreat.

Instead, the Riflemen, known for their resolve, called on The Band and Bugles of Durham Army Cadet Force assisted by the Minden Band and Bugles AFC of Yorkshire North and West to produce a virtual performance!

Samantha Holden, our regular performer for Armed Forces Week, says hello and gives us a little song for Armed Forces Week 2020.

2020 would have been Samantha's sixth year of performing, and we hope to invite her back to celebrate with us next year!


Formal Addresses

Colonel Graham Mitchell addresses Stockton-on-Tees for Armed Forces Week 2020.

The Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Lynn Hall, makes her address for Armed Forces Day 2020.


How you can celebrate our armed forces from home

Watch the 2019 national armed forces day event at Salisbury, which was attended by Princess Anne, The Princess Royal.

Why not watch the Royal British Legion’s Victory in Europe 75th Anniversary livestream event from 8 May 2020. The programme outline is listed under the video on that webpage.

As part of the ‘D-Day 70 years on’ event at the Royal Albert Hall, there was a special performance of “We’ll meet again” by Katherine Jenkins and Dame Vera Lynn.

You can also watch the BBC’s special D-Day 75th Anniversary ‘Tribute to heroes’ event from June 2019. It’s 1 hour 24 minutes so if you haven’t got that long, you may prefer the 15 minute highlights.

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.

Take 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 – when the lockdown is over. Entry is free.

Learn 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.

Businesses /Organisations 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 been granted the Freedom of our Borough (Yorkshire Regiment, 1 Close Support REME and The Rifles) in recognition of their outstanding contribution to our community - past, present and future. This is a chance to contribute to them. Since 2011, our Mayor has organised a charity duck race as part of armed forces week to raise much needed funds for their charities. As we cannot have one this year, we would encouraging those able to make a donation to send it directly to the Regiments using the contact details on the links above, or contact the Mayor’s Office.


Kids Crafts and Fun Activities

Make some Union flag bunting. If you need some inspiration watch the BBC’s ‘Great British Bunting’ video. There’s a blank bunting template for you to download and decorate. Here are some ideas if you want to make some fancy bunting. (Just remember to be careful about where and how securely you hang your bunting as it could be a danger for small children).

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, such as the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster.

Watch and learn the ‘VE Day Song’ by Horrible Histories.