Celebrations to mark Armed Forces weekend

CELEBRATIONS to mark national Armed Forces weekend will be taking place at the Redoubt Fortress.

Friday night starts with the Cadet Tattoo with cadets from all over the town competing in drill competitions and 2012 sees the welcome return of the competitive gun run.

A weekend of free events for all the family will take place from June 29-July 1 with a mixture of hands-on activities from making your own semaphore, Armed Forces Weekend Badge and leather dog tag.

Or how about puzzling over games brain teasers that were used to keep people’s minds off the bombing while they were in World War II air raid shelters and trying on replica costumes?

There will also be a range of historical re-enactors – the 79th Cameron Highlanders (Napoleonic) and soldiers representing the 35th Foot (Victorian) who are a predecessor of The Royal Sussex Regiment will all be there.

Bringing the Redoubt to life will also be the WVS Recruitment desk where civilians can sign up for important war work in World War II and a hospital set up portraying a bed from the McIndoe War – pioneering plastic surgery from the Second World War.

Redoubt regulars, Deco In Style, will be bringing their World War I Army Recruitment post manned by soldiers portraying the Royal Sussex and there will also be even more re-enactors bringing historical vehicles to the weekend to talk to the public about their kit and equipment.

Sunday (July 1) begins with a Drumhead Church Service, followed by the presentation of Veteran Badges to local residents.

The afternoon will be filled with toe-tapping music from The Big Jazz and will close with a march out led by the Kingfisher Scout Band in an atmospheric sunset parade.

Entry to the Armed Forces Weekend is free to veterans.