Visit East of England logo

Official Partner of Visit East of England

VisitEngland logo

Official Partner of VisitEngland

Ely Celebrates Armed Forces Day 2024

This year, Visit Ely and the Ely branch of the Royal British Legion came together to provide the community with a ‘bigger and better’ National Day of Celebration.

This year, Visit Ely and the Ely branch of the Royal British Legion came together to provide the community with a ‘bigger and better’ National Day of Celebration.

From the planning stages, well over a year ago, the teams did the city proud.

The event began with a wonderful parade, led by the City of Ely Military Band and followed by our army and air cadets, our standard bearers.

It was truly a sight to be seen and a proud moment for the families of the cadets, veterans and serving military.

Cllr Chris Phillips, the Mayor of Ely, officially opened the event with the most poignant speech, referring tp the historic militia that had possibly gathered on palace green over the centuries to our present-day armed forces.

Entertainment was provided all day from Blue Skies Big Band, followed by the City of Ely Military Band, who led the closing sunset ceremony at 2.30pm.

This year we had food and drink supplied by local businesses, Gin Jam Bar, Mile Tree Brewery, Silver Oak coffee and Urban Fresh.

Various charities and recruitment stalls were also available together a superb lineup of vintage military vehicles which were a delight for the younger attendees of the event, and who maybe felt inspired to explore a career in the armed forces.

The City of Ely Council/Visit Ely and the Ely branch of the RBL would like to thank all those who contributed to the day.

It was truly memorable, with a special note to Walter Gunston, who voluntarily decorated Palace Green and demonstrating true pageantry.

A spokesperson for Visit Ely said: “What a truly memorable and moving day it was, the weather was kind to us, the bands played throughout the day, and it was a joy to see so many families attend and have fun.

“This event is still in its infancy, and planning for June 21, 2025, is already underway with the theme ‘VE/VJ Day 80’ the end of World War II.

“If you would like to be part of the 2025 event, please do get in touch :”

Dave Martin, chairman of the Ely branch of the RBL, said: “It was great to see the community come together to support the City of Ely’s Armed Forces Day 2024.

“I have received so many comments from the veterans, and non-veterans alike, thanking the Visit Ely team and RBL for their involvement in planning and delivery, and many were moved by the closing ‘sunset ceremony’.

In his speech on the day, the Mayor of Ely said: “Standing here on Palace Green, I can’t help but wonder how many men (and, indeed, women) of Ely have set off from this place to serve in the military.

“But today is perhaps more than anything is a fitting opportunity for us to show our support for the men and women who make up the current armed forces community – serving troops, service families, veterans and cadets. 

“Our city recognises their service – their commitment to keeping our country and its people safe.

“We salute their courage and we acknowledge the fact that when ordinary people are called upon, in the line of duty, they do extraordinary things.

“Thank you everyone for your presence, and a special welcome to all those who are visiting our city.

“Thank you, too, to all those who have worked so hard to put today together – the Visit Ely team and the Royal British Legion especially.

“Let’s enjoy it in the vibrant, diverse and friendly community that is our City of Ely.”

2023 – Looking Backwards and Looking Forward
History Comes Alive at Sessions House Ely
As with every year, Ely is honoured to host two servicesThough the Haunted season has since passed and thoughts turn to Christmas, that didn’t stop the specters of history from appearing before a sold out audience at Ely’s Sessions House on 10th November, when three trials were recreated in the v...
What a Weekend - Ely's Eel Day and Food, Drink and Craft Fair 2023
Overall feedback was ‘The Best Eel Festival Yet’.  You can’t get better than that.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to keep informed of all the latest events and special offers exclusively from Visit Ely!

Thank you for submitting your enquiry.

We aim to respond within  3 working days, but this may be longer during busy periods.

The Visit Ely Team