UK Armed Forces Day

UK Armed Forces Day is a holiday observed annually on the last Saturday in June in the United Kingdom. Formerly known as Veterans’ Day, this holiday celebrates the service of the men and women who currently serve or have previously served in the British Armed Forces.

This day is not officially a public holiday in the United Kingdom, but it is an event that is observed formally. The day was created to extend Veterans’ Awareness Week, and the majority of the celebrations are dedicated to the men and women who serve in the armed forces, as well as to the families of veterans.

The History of UK Armed Forces Day

In 2006, Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr. Gordon Brown announced plans for a Veterans’ Day to ensure that the sacrifice and hard work of veterans were never forgotten. Initially, the date of June 27th was chosen because it was the day after the anniversary of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross.

In 1857, the Victoria Cross was invested in 62 people in Hyde Park, London. This holiday was a permanent extension of the existing Veterans’ Awareness Week, which had been held for the first time the year before. The week focused on celebrating the servicemen and servicewomen who were currently living.

This was in contrast to Remembrance Day, which focused on honoring those soldiers who have died. In 2007, the Member of Parliament for Livingston, Jim Devine, tabled a House of Commons Early Day Motion that called for the day to be a public holiday.

Observing UK Armed Forces Day

All across the country, physical and virtual events are celebrated on this day. There are parades, special ceremonies, memorials, and other such services held throughout the United Kingdom. People also spread the word about this holiday online using the hashtag #UKArmedForcesDay on social media.

Where is it celebrated?
United Kingdom
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 29 Saturday
Next year (2025)
June 28 Saturday
Last year (2023)
June 24 Saturday