Hundreds of people are expected to once again come out and support the Council’s Armed Forces Day event, which this year takes place in Aberdare on July 1.
The day will begin at 11am with the unveiling of a new information board outside Tegfan Resource Centre, Aberdare, in recognition of its use during the First World War as a Military Hospital, staffed by Red Cross nurses.
The unveiling of the new information board at Tegfan Resourcve Centre will be followed by a Parade to nearby Aberdare Park.
There will then be a parachute jump performed by the world-famous Red Devils, the British Army’s Parachute Regiment Display Team, followed by the Raising of the Flag Service.
All of this will be followed by a celebration of the work of our Armed Forces, with lots of fun and family attractions around Aberdare Park.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Maureen Webber, with responsibility for Armed Forces, said: “Armed Forces Day is supported by the Council, and it is marked every year in our County Borough in order to raise awareness of and celebrate the contribution made by those who serve and have served in the Armed Forces.
“In recent years, as part of our First World War Centenary commemorations, our Armed Forces Day event has been taken around the county borough in recognition of the links different communities had with the First World War.
“Previously, events have been held in Tonyrefail and Ferndale, and this year our event is being held in Aberdare, a town which was home to the Military Hospital for the area during the First World War.
“This year’s event will also see a range of stalls providing advice and guidance on the support available for current and former service men and women.
“Our Armed Forces Day event, which will feature a Parade, will give us the opportunity to celebrate and thank our Armed Forces Community and, through the unveiling of our new information board, we will also take time to reflect on the First World War and the impact it had on our communities.”
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is continuing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. It is also proud of its Armed Forces Covenant, which sets out the commitment the Council shows former and serving members of the Armed Forces and their families, from financial assistance to signposting to support services.
It was one of the first Local Authorities in Wales to establish an Armed Forces Covenant in order to reiterate its commitment and value to the Armed Forces, both past and present.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Armed Forces Covenant
The Military Hospital, a satellite of the 3rd Western General Hospital in Cardiff, was run by the Aberdare and Merthyr branch of the Red Cross Society, under the supervision of Dr Isaac Banks, a local Aberdare doctor who gained an OBE in 1919 in recognition of his services at the hospital.
Although initially designed to accommodate 60 beds, by Christmas 1917 there were 200 patients resident at the Aberdare Military Hospital. By the time it closed in May 1919, it had treated 2,000 servicemen and had carried out more than 300 operations.
Armed Forces Day takes place at Aberdare park from 12pm until 4pm on Saturday, July 1. All are welcome. For further details call 01443 424123 or visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/whatson