HMS Somerset and Merlin Helicopter in Llandudno Bay
UK

Llandudno Gets Ready For Armed Forces Day 2018

The military has descended on to the seaside resort...

HMS Somerset and Merlin Helicopter in Llandudno Bay

The military has rolled in to Llandudno for the start of the national Armed Forces Day event. 

Flags now line the streets and military uniforms can be seen around the picturesque seaside resort as everyone gets ready for Saturday's event.

A military parade and aerobatic display from the Red Arrows will be the main attractions, all of which can be seen from 11am on Forces TV and right here on our website.

Over 1000 serving personnel, veterans, cadets and marching bands are expected to take part in the celebrations.

They will step off on parade from the Llandudno War Memorial at 11am.

Marines practise beach landing in Llandudno
Marines practise beach landing in Llandudno

The Red Arrows will take to the skies over Llandudno Bay from 1200(BST) for an air display you can see live on our special Armed Forces Day programme.

There will also be a chance to see the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and a Typhoon display.

A military village has been set up at the end of a promenade where visitors can get up close and personal with a Jackal, Wildcat, Chinook, Ajax, Challenger tank and a Merlin.

 

Royal Marines on the beach in the LLandudno
Royal Marines on the beach in the LLandudno

Llandudno's Military History

Anyone who has ever been to the beautiful town of Llandudno will be well aware of its status as a popular seaside resort in North Wales.

Not quite as well known, however, are its links to the military, so one could well be forgiven for wondering why it has been selected as the venue for this year's Armed Forces Day.

It's a special event this year, marking the 10th Armed Forces Day since it was renamed from Veterans' Day, to recognise all those currently serving.

Llandudno, meanwhile, may not be home to any military bases - but it's a key part of an area with a rich history linked to the forces.

Known since the 19th century as the 'Queen of the Welsh Resorts', the historic settlement is not just Wales' largest seaside resort but also one of North Wales' largest towns.

Llandudno

Few would argue with that area's military connections.

North Wales has a number of current and historic links to the Armed Forces, housing many regular and reserve Army units.

Many residents in the region proudly serve in the Royal Welsh or at nearby RAF Valley on Anglesey, which is home to a fast jet training base.

Llandudno is part of Conwy County Borough, where almost 10,000 veterans live out of a population of 116,500, supported by a number of local and national charities.

When the announcement was made that it would be the venue for the Armed Forces Day national event, councillor Gareth Jones, leader of Conwy County Borough Council, said:

"Conwy County has a deep affiliation with the Armed Forces and a strong historical link. Llandudno will be a great destination to showcase the outstanding work of the Armed Forces past and present.

"The event will be supported by all the North Wales Councils and key colleagues across Wales. Serving personnel and veterans of our Armed Forces Community will be assured of a very warm welcome and an event that thanks them for their commitment to keeping the country safe."

Defence Minister for the Lords, Earl Howe, said:

"Llandudno represents a superb venue for... [the Armed Forces Day] celebrations and I'm sure the town will bring together the whole nation in celebrating our Armed Forces."

Since the renaming of Armed Forces Day, it's only been held once in Wales, in Cardiff in 2010, while English locations have hosted the event six times and Scottish venues twice.

Cardiff saw thousands of people celebrate the work done by the military eight years ago, and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns was delighted that it's set to return to the country. He said:

"We will see veterans of wars gone by and soldiers serving in conflicts around the world today marching side by side in Llandudno, united in pride in service to their country.

Queen Presents New Colours To The Royal Welsh In Cardiff

"In Wales we have a special connection with our Armed Forces and this annual event gives the public an opportunity to show their appreciation and pride for our soldiers, sailors and air personnel who sacrifice so much for others.

"Our debt of gratitude also extends to the families they leave behind and the veterans past and present who have dedicated years of their lives to service. I am honoured to mark Armed Forces Day today – and in the years to come – in their company."

Events are to be held across the UK to mark Armed Forces Day, as well as the national event in Llandudno.

Images courtesy of Noel Walley & Nigel Swales.

More: Soldiers Presented With Ancient Honour Dating Back To Army Role Of 1300s