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Proud moment as flags raised to mark Armed Forces day

27 June 2017

• Flag raising in Littleborough

Dozens of flags across Rochdale Borough were raised with pride to mark national Armed Forces Day.

Services to mark the special occasion were held in Heywood, Littleborough. Middleton, Milnrow and Rochdale.

Hundreds of soldiers, veterans, dependants, councillors and dignitaries turned out to pay tribute to past and present members of the Armed Forces family.

The Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Ian Duckworth, attended the service at Rochdale, where the specially designed armed forces flag was raised in the shadow of the town hall.

Prior to the services, the popular veterans' breakfast club at Rochdale Town Hall was well attended, with people from across the armed forces community sharing stories and reminiscing.

Rochdale also had a strong presence for the national Armed Forces event in Liverpool ,with military personnel from across the borough attending.

Councillor Alan McCarthy, the council's lead member for the Armed Forces, said: "We are proud of our Armed Forces community. The flag raising day was an opportunity to say 'thank you' to the sacrifices thousands of men and women have made to protect our freedom and liberty. It was fantastic to see so many people marking such an historic day. Lest we forget."

Peter Clegg, chairman of the Rochdale branch of the Royal British Legion, said: "The sacrifice made by so many will never be forgotten. Raising the Armed Forces flag and celebrating our Armed Forces family helps raise awareness across our community. It was a moving moment when the flag was raised to the emotive sound of the buglers playing the Last Post."

The council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012, aimed at encouraging communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate armed forces personnel back into civilian life.

Support and services for armed or ex-armed forces and their families for more information.

The Armed Forces breakfast club is held every Thursday at Rochdale Town Hall from 10am-10.30am.