Service people, veterans and civic leaders marked the start of Armed Forces Week at a flag-raising ceremony at Ross-on-Wye’s Market House on Monday (June 20).

The county will celebrate Armed Forces Day itself on Saturday (June 25) at the town’s Rope Walk with a free programme of music, re-enactments, military displays, dancing, food and drink from 11am to 5pm, including a flypast by a Spitfire at 12.15pm.

Present at the flag raising were town mayor Cllr Ed O’Driscoll, Ross-on-Wye Royal British Legion president Major Patrick Darling DL, branch RBL chairman Graham Aplin and other RBL representatives.

Rev Sean Semple delivered a poignant prayer in remembrance of those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

As part of the local celebrations for Armed Forces Week, Colonel Andy Taylor OBE presented an illustrated talk on Monday at town’s Phoenix Theatre about the formation of the Herefordshire Regiment and its experiences up until its evacuation from Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, in December 1915.

The Town Council is also holding a shop window-dressing competition for local traders and are encouraging as many as possible to get involved to show their support.

It will also be holding a service for the rededication of the War Memorial at The Prospect tomorrow (Thursday, June 23) at 12.30pm.

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Mr Edward Harley OBE, and Herefordshire Council chairman Cllr Sebastian Bowen, joined senior figures from all three services at a flag-raising in Hereford on Monday.

The Lord-Lieutenant said: “The tragic conflict in Ukraine serves to remind us of the importance of our Armed Forces, and it is most appropriate that this ceremony to recognise their contribution will take place in the heart of our City.

“This ceremony marks the beginning of Armed Forces Week, which culminates with Armed Forces Day, and will be celebrated in style in Ross-on-Wye on Saturday.”

Cllr Bowen noted: “It is 40 years since the invasion of the Falklands by the Argentine military; prompting an amazingly well coordinated and efficient response from Britain, and Her Armed Forces,”