armed forces commemorative events

Lord Mayor of Leeds Spearheads Commemorative Events

The city of Leeds is set to pay tribute to its armed forces community through an entire month of commemorative events and activities, expanding the traditional Armed Forces Day into a far-reaching festival. This reinvigorated celebration is an expression of gratitude towards the brave men and women who make up the armed forces. From currently serving troops to veterans and cadets, the Armed Forces Festival is an opportunity for the city to come together in support and recognition.

The festival, which is a brainchild of the Lord Mayor of Leeds, will feature an array of activities that cater to all demographics and interests. The themed events will span across various venues, including museums, galleries, and libraries, ensuring widespread community involvement. One of the highlights promises to be a historic tour of the Thackray Museum of Medicine, once a military hospital during the First World War.

In addition, Leeds Library Service is set to hold a series of related events, offering exhibitions and workshops that delve into family history and local armed forces heritage. The Leodis photography platform will further complement these offerings with a specially curated online gallery.

A Rich Tapestry of Educational and Commemorative Activities

The Lord Mayor Elect, Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung, has expressed her anticipation for the festival, particularly in light of the 80th anniversary of D-Day. “Leeds has a long history of supporting and celebrating our armed forces and this is a tradition I am keen to continue during my year as Lord Mayor,” she stated. Councillor Katung also highlighted the variety of events designed to educate and entertain, including a special Civic Hall inscription to honor the ‘Barnbow Lasses’ and their significant role during wartime.

Confirmed events for the festival are as diverse as they are numerous. Leeds Museums and Galleries will host engaging talks and exhibitions, while the City Varieties Music Hall is set to commemorate the D-Day anniversary with a unique music and comedy show. The NHS trust, another supporter of the festival, will offer insights into armed forces careers, emphasizing the sector’s commitment to veteran employment and reservist policies.

The festival’s programming also extends to the Leeds Library Service, which will host events across various sites. Expect family history workshops and lectures by local experts, designed to draw connections between Leeds’s past and the armed forces community. The Leodis photography platform will likewise feature an Armed Forces Day online curated gallery throughout June, showcasing images of buildings, parades, and historical events.

Commemorative Celebrations Culminating in the Main Event

All festivities will lead up to the main Armed Forces Day event, scheduled for Sunday, 30 June. This day-long extravaganza is set to offer a mix of family-friendly activities, parades, stalls, exhibitions, and music, providing an engaging experience for attendees of all ages. In a significant change from the past, the flag-raising ceremony, traditionally held the Saturday before, will now be integrated into the day’s events, enhancing the overall pageantry and celebration.

In a statement, the Lord Mayor Elect extended an open invitation to the residents of Leeds, urging the community to participate in the various events. “The Armed Forces Festival will be an incredible way not only to say thank you to the men and women of the armed forces community for the work they undertake around the globe but also a fun and engaging day out for all the family,” she said.

As Leeds marches towards this month-long festival, the entire program serves as a testament to the city’s enduring respect and support for its armed forces. It is a celebration that not only honors the past but also looks towards a future of continued recognition and appreciation.

Notes for Editors

For those seeking further information on the Armed Forces Festival, details of all events can be found on the official page, Millennium Square Leeds. Here are some of the confirmed festival highlights:

  • will host an Armed Forces Day online curated gallery throughout June. More details can be found at Leodis Photography.
  • Leeds Central Library will exhibit a range of armed forces treasures, with no pre-booking required.
  • Crossgates Library will host the Barnbow exhibition from 1 June to 6 July.
  • Armley Library and Community Hub will present the Reflections of War exhibition from 3 June to 29 June.
  • Leeds City Museum will have a free exhibition as a part of its Leeds Story Gallery throughout June.
  • Kippax Library will host a talk on 5 June at 3 pm titled “What did Normandy July 1944 have to do with the Gascoigne’s gifting Lotherton to Leeds City Council?”.
  • Leeds City Varieties will commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day on 8 June.
  • Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will hold online career sessions on 10 June.
  • Leeds Central Library will host an armed forces-themed drop-in session on 12 June.
  • Armley Library will feature a talk on the history of battles and warfare in the Yorkshire area on 27 June.
  • Thackray Museum of Medicine will offer a special tour on 28 June.
  • Royal Armouries will host the D-Day 80 Weekend with blank firing demonstrations and performance pieces.
  • Finally, on 5 July, Leeds City Museum will present a talk on ‘Stories of Leeds Citizens in the Second World War’.

These events are representative of the city’s commitment to engaging with its armed forces history and present, creating an immersive experience for all who wish to participate in this inaugural month-long festival.

By george