Armed Forces Day 2020

Armed Forces Day takes place annually on the last Saturday in June.  It’s the day the whole country comes together to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community; from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.

Normally events such as parades, displays and concerts are arranged nationally and locally to mark this day. This year however, due to the coronavirus outbreak, activities will take place ‘virtually’.

We would like to thank everyone that has helped to provide content for this webpage and everyone who is making a special effort to mark the day in their own way.

In 2013, NPT Council and a number of partners signed our Armed Forces Covenant with the aim of supporting the armed forces community in the Neath Port Talbot area.

All other local authorities in Wales signed up to the Covenant and each authority has an Armed Forces Champion, which is a role undertaken by an elected member. The purpose of the Champion is to promote and champion the interests and needs of the armed forces community locally and act as single point of contact.

Neath Port Talbot’s Armed Forces Champion is Councillor Chris James. Councillor James joined the Royal Navy in 1990. While working in Naval Operations he served in both the Sierra Leone and Afghanistan conflicts before leaving in 2005 after being injured in service.

On behalf of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Chris James has recorded this message for Armed Forces Day 2020…

Under normal circumstances The Mayor would attend and preside over a number of special events on Armed Forces Day. This year The Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Councillor Scott Jones has recorded this special video message to pay tribute to our Armed Forces past and present

Although we may not be together to mark Armed Forces Day this year, the official website will give you more opportunities to be part of the day and learn more about why it’s so important. 

Also across the official social media channels below, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from personnel deployed all over the world, get exclusive behind the scenes access and more!
Join in on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day for a programme of online events including Q&As with military personnel and performances from military bands.

Share your photos by using #ArmedForcesDay on your posts. 

#SaluteOurForces is a simple way for anyone to pay tribute to the British Armed Forces community for their hard work, dedication and efforts to and keep us safe in the UK and across the globe. To join in, simply send a photo or video of yourself or your friends and colleagues saluting!   Find out how to submit your images here.

Also, if you know someone in the Armed Forces community whether they’re currently serving or a veteran, you could send them a message or give them a call to show your support for the work they do

Join Kirsten for her Facebook Live performance at 7pm on Armed Forces Day – Saturday June 27th, 2020

Talented Neath singer and rising star Kirsten Orsborn goes live from her own home to perform for her many local followers and fans across the globe. During her performance Kirsten will also being paying a special tribute to her friend, mentor and inspiration, Dame Vera Lynn.

More on Kirsten Orsborn

Kirsten Orsborn has been singing and performing since she was just 6 years old! Over the years she has performed up and down the country in theatres, concert halls, holiday parks, hotels, cruise ships and also The Royal Hospital of Chelsea.  In 2014 Kirsten was officially adopted by The Royal Marines as their new Forces Sweetheart. Since then she has performed at prestigious events across the UK for the forces including in 2018 a 4 week tour of Ireland.

On Remembrance Day 2018 Kirsten was also adopted as the new Sweetheart of The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal at an official ceremony in Swansea. She is also now a very proud patron of 2 charities based in Scotland; ‘Minds at War’ and ‘The Homeless Veterans Project’.

Kirsten toured Scotland in support of the veterans October 2019, performing a sell-out shows at the prestigious Paisley Abbey and local barracks where she entertained serving personnel and retired veterans.

Last year Kirsten was invited to fly to the Falkland Islands where she sang for troops, retired veterans while raising money for Liberty Lodge (a charity that supports veterans that wish to visit the Falklands to pay tribute to fallen comrades).

Kirsten is proud to support Armed Forces Day 2020 by giving this special online performance.

Tributes to Dame Vera Lynn

Many tributes have been paid to the wonderful Dame Vera Lynn who sadly passed away on June 18th.

On this, the 12th annual Armed Forces Day, the original Forces Sweetheart will be missed by the whole nation.

The Band of the Coldstream Guards paid their own special tribute to Dame Vera Lynn by playing this rendition of one of her most famous songs, 'We'll Meet Again'.  

Special performance by the South Wales Police Band and Drums.

The South Wales Police Band and Drums were formed in 1981 and over the years have played for many and varied audiences, providing marching music for numerous parades, carnivals and formal occasions.  Members of the Band include serving and retired Police Officers, Police Staff and Volunteers from communities across South Wales. Some of the notable highlights have included performances on the BBC TV programmes ‘Blue Peter’, ‘Children in Need’ and ‘Songs of Praise’, playing for Royalty and at the Berlin Tattoo.

The Band is also now internationally renowned having performed in France , Belgium & Malta to celebrate the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940 and the liberation of Northern France/Belgium 1944. They also would have been performing live to mark Armed Forces Day and have kindly allowed us to share this rendition of a ‘light hearted’ favourite!    

Find out more about The South Wales Police Band and Drums   

Neath Port Talbot Music Service went back to the Forties!

In May, the talented Neath Port Talbot Music Service team did their bit to mark VE Day.  Funded by Neath Port Talbot Council, Cerdd NPT Music Service tutors pupils across all schools on a wide range of instruments. Throughout lockdown they’ve kept in touch with students by running online tutorials.

Click here and scroll down to hear music teacher Lisa Rumble give her rendition of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and fellow teacher Kirstie Roberts singing an Andrews Sisters’ classic! 

Friday, May 8th 2020 saw the country come together to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. As we all know, the coronavirus emergency led to the cancellation of many local and national events. At Neath Port Talbot Council we marked this important anniversary digitally. We hope these pages will interest you and perhaps encourage us all to share memories or start conversations with and about loved ones who experienced that day 75 years ago.

Walking With The Wounded's Armed Forces Day Quiz

Walking With The Wounded is a registered charity that provides support for vulnerable ex-Service personnel.

Although the quiz is free to take part in, WWTW welcomes any donations however large or small.

You can take part in the quiz anytime until Monday June 29th via the link below.