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Liverpool launches national Armed Forces Day celebrations with magical ceremony

20 June 2017
The countdown to Armed Forces Day festivities in Liverpool has begun with a flag raising event in the host city ahead of the national event on Saturday 24 June.

Royal Navy Commodore Phil Waterhouse, who commands the Royal Navy in Northern England, joined Britain’s Got Talent winner Lance Corporal Richard Jones as he hoisted the Armed Forces flag alongside the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Malcolm Kennedy, and John Syvret CEO of Cammell Laird who are headline sponsors of the event.

Lance Corporal Richard Jones was crowned winner of Britain's Got Talent in 2016 after wowing the judges with his magic act.

He remains a serving soldier as part of The Band of The Household Cavalry and performed card tricks at the town hall as well as on a rooftop opposite Liverpool's iconic Liver Building.

It is sure to be a tremendous spectacle and one which the eyes of the nation will be upon.

Commodore Phil Waterhouse RN

The city’s Cunard Building will be lit up in red, white and blue every evening this week and “Thank You” banners will be put up on the front of St George's Hall from Wednesday.

Richard said: "I am delighted to be part of these hugely important celebrations. As someone who serves in the military, Armed Forces Day is a very humbling experience as the nation comes together to thank those servicemen and women who go above and beyond for their country.”

Commodore Phil Waterhouse, who commands the Royal Navy in Northern England, said: "The flag raising ceremony signals the beginning of Armed Forces week; I am so very pleased to have been asked to take part in it with the Lord Mayor.

"A tremendous amount of work has gone into planning the national Armed Forces Day event by numerous organisations, all of whom have contributed massively.

“I and my fellow service personnel are looking forward immensely to engaging with the thousands of people who will flock to Liverpool's waterfront on Saturday (24 June.)

"We feel very humbled that the nation wishes to show their appreciation of sailors, soldiers and airmen, both past and present, as well as the wider Armed Forces family.

“It is sure to be a tremendous spectacle and one which the eyes of the nation will be upon."

Armed Forces Day runs from 11am to 5pm on Saturday with around 1,000 serving personnel, veterans, cadets and marching bands taking part in a parade where a salute will be given by special guests and dignitaries. A Typhoon flypast will mark the start of the parade.

Activities will take place across the waterfront until 5pm in zones dedicated to all three services. Military assets will be showcased ranging from static aircraft, diving tank, survival equipment display, bomb disposal robot, RAF technology zone, tanks and armoured vehicles, right through to field operating theatre including a battle field ambulance, field catering demonstrations, field gun run, marching military bands, street theatre and family zones.  All subject to operational requirements.

A display arena will be located next to Liverpool Cruise Liner passenger lounge giving visitors the chance to see capability demonstrations, ranging from a Royal Marines unarmed combat display and military marching bands including Royal Marines Band Scotland right through to an Army bridge building demo and a field gun-race between teams from the city’s affiliated ship the Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier HMS Prince of Wales and RAF Cosford.

You can also watch the three services battle it out in dragon boat races at Princes Dock.

Weather permitting; a number of flypasts will take place throughout the day involving aircrafts such as the Red Arrows and Royal Navy Wildcat.

For full details of the day, head to

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