Skip to main content

Plymouth Armed Forces Week 2024 proves to be a huge success

Merlin Mk4
Merlin Mk4

Visitors and residents turned up in their thousands to show respect to our Service Personnel past and present in a week-long celebration in Plymouth which culminated in the spectacular Armed Forces Day – in association with international defence company Babcock, on Saturday 29 June. For a city with a proud military history this was a real opportunity to come together and celebrate.

On Monday 24 June the week opened with an official ceremonial raising of the Armed Forces flag outside Plymouth Guildhall; followed by a two-day British Army Recruitment Event with hands-on activities, vehicles and climbing wall. 29 Commando Regiment RA and a team of Ammunition Technicians were also present, with their display of equipment.

The sun shone for the participants and spectators of the Strength of Spirit Games Rehabilitation Triathlon, hosted by the Royal Navy, sponsored by AECOM and The Royal Marines Charity. The city welcomed over 150 Service Personnel on Recovery Duties, and Veterans, to take part in the swim, bike and row events with teams from the USA and the Netherlands, taking full advantage of the stunning art-deco Tinside Lido and the view over Plymouth Hoe. New for this year - The Plymouth School Sports Partnership Junior Rowing Challenge which included 120 children from military families competing on the Hoe. Thank you to our sponsors and delivery partners South West Highways, Plymouth Active and The Cornwall Bakery for their support.

Congratulations to all participants who took part in the Strength of Spirit Games. Leigham Primary School pupils were the overall winning team at The Plymouth School Sports Partnership Junior Rowing Challenge.

Plymouth Armed Forces Day took place on Saturday with a full day’s programme incorporating, displays, parades, demonstrations, and entertainment culminating in an evening concert. It was a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions of the Armed Forces both past and present.

Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Tina Tuohy, said: “The week-long Armed Forces celebration in Plymouth is not only an opportunity to see remarkable athletes and enjoy a packed day of family fun, activities and recruitment advice, but also a hugely important week for the people of Plymouth to show support to our Military, serving to reservists, veterans, cadets and their families and to thank them for the great work they do”.

RM unarmed combat display
RM unarmed combat display

Visitors from far and wide came to explore the military villages and enjoyed tackling some of the hands-on challenges and climbing on-board the vehicles and equipment, including the Royal Marines Raiding Craft and the Army’s weapon displays and climbing wall. There were dynamic displays from the Royal Navy including the battlefield ambulance and divers in the dive tank whilst, the RAF recruitment team chatted to visitors about career opportunities and the Cadets were running desk-top simulators for visitors to try.

Dave Tytherleigh from Babcock’s Leadership Team at Devonport, said: “As title sponsor of this popular event, we were delighted to attend and welcome so many visitors to our stand. Hosting this military showcase annually in Plymouth provides an excellent opportunity for the community to learn more about the critical role that our Armed Forces play in keeping our country safe – something Babcock is proud to support.”

One of the many highlights included the Merlin Mk4 helicopter, as visitors could go on-board the helicopter, and chat to the air crew and engineers.

The crowds were wowed by the air demonstration, which saw the Swordfish W5856 - the oldest surviving airworthy Fairey Swordfish in the world, and the Wasp. Following this was an adrenaline-packed performance by the AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers.

The Emergency Services had an array of displays and equipment to explore, including the Fire Service, Police, Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team Plymouth, RNLI and Coastguard Search and Rescue. They all had teams on-hand to offer advice and explain how and when they use their emergency equipment.

Military Wives Choir
Military Wives Choir

The Veterans Village, sponsored by the Royal British Legion, saw a continuous stream of visitors to the 100+ charities and organisations offering information, support and advice, for both serving military personnel and veterans. For the car enthusiast there were plenty of vintage military vehicles to admire, and INEOS Grenadier and Marshall Audi also had vehicles on display.

Families loved the arena programme with thrilling demonstrations from the Royal Marines Unarmed Combat Display Team, Team Endeavours Punishers Wheelchair Rugby, plus Cadet parades, live music and much more.

Congratulations to Mount Wise Primary School for winning the Junior Field Gun tournament, which ran throughout the day and was presented by Vice Admiral, Andrew Burns, Fleet Commander of the Royal Navy.

The day finished with a lively free evening concert, sponsored by C&G Catering, which included a line-up of brilliant performances where the crowds danced and sang a-long to, with the stunning backdrop of Plymouth Sound.

Thank you to our Armed Forces Day sponsors and delivery partners, Babcock International, Royal British Legion, C&G Catering, Foster for Plymouth, South West Highways, Plymouth CityBus, Morgan Sindall Construction and Ivor Dewdney Pasties for their support.

To watch the video from Armed Forces Day, and for more information, visit: plymoutharmedforcesday.co.uk. For further information about Babcock International, visit: babcockinternational.com

For more information about other events taking place in the city, visit: visitplymouth.co.uk