Armed Forces Day 2023 Events for Veterans (Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant, Isle of Wight)

It’s that time of year again…Armed Forces Day is a fantastic opportunity to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, including serving people, military families, and, of course, veterans!

Armed Forces Day (AFD) is officially observed on June 24th, but our local regions are celebrating it on a few different dates. You’re encouraged to come celebrate with us! Veterans Outreach Support staff and volunteers are very much looking forward to the AFD events in our area.

If you’re not located near Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant or the Isle of Wight, this is a great resource for all AFD events in the UK. If you ARE based in our neck of the woods, we’d love to see you. Here are all the details about where we’ll be:



Date: Saturday 17th June 2023

Location: Southsea Common, Portsmouth

Cost: FREE


Schedule of Events:

10.30am: Day begins, with stalls set up across the common (including VOS)

10.30am – 10.45am: Rose and Thistle Pipe Band Performance

11.15am – 11.45am: Military, Reservists, Cadets and Veterans Parade

11.55am – 12.15pm: The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines

12.30pm – 1pm: Royal Navy Parachute Team & REME Army Lightning Bolts Display

2pm – 3pm: Fort Cumberland Guard Cannon and Musketry Display

3.30pm: Battle of Britain Memorial Solo Spitfire Display across the Solent from Southsea Common

4.00pm: End of Day’s Events


Along with the main attractions listed on that schedule, there will be plenty of fun activities all day long across the Common. If you attend, you’ll be able to see military vehicles from the Joint Helicopter Command tactical supply wing and a helicopter from 6 Regiment Army Air Corps Reserve. You can watch cadet groups showing off some shooting skills in the field gun arena, or have a nice listen to the live musical performances hosted by ‘Live at the Bandstand.’

Swing by VOS’ stall to say hello, and check out the other tables featuring other great military charities. One of the sponsors of this event is BAE Systems, so be sure to say hello to them as well! The BAE Systems team members are great supporters of our local veterans (see photos of their ‘Tough Mudder’ fundraiser for VOS here).



Date: Monday 19th June 2023

Location: Falkland Gardens and Gosport High Street

Cost: FREE


Schedule of Events:

10.00am: Flag Raising Ceremony at the Falkland Gardens by Mayor of Gosport, Commander Mark Reynolds, and Surgeon Captain Christopher Streets (Institute of Naval Medicine)

10.00am-14.30pm: Gosport Armed Forces Info Hub, Gosport High Street


This event is facilitated by Gosport Borough Council, and includes a range of organisations (including VOS) that offer services and support to the large armed forces community in Gosport. Along with us, groups at the market-style information hub will include FirstLight Trust, Alabaré, Forces Employment Charity, SSAFA and Gosport Voluntary Action.

“This is an excellent event that enables the borough of Gosport to show its support to our armed forces,” said Gosport’s Mayor in a recent statement. “Having been a serving army officer for over 25 years, I know how much the support of the local community means to service personnel, and perhaps more importantly, their families. It would be great to see as many people as possible at the event.”



Date: Monday 19th June 2023

Location: Outside the Public Service Plaza, Havant, PO9 2AX.

Cost: FREE


Schedule of Events:

10.30am: Short Civic Service followed by Flag Raising


Havant-based veterans are encouraged to visit the Public Service Plaza on Monday morning to mark the occasion of Havant receiving the official Armed Forces Day flag. Mayor of Havant, Cllr Rosy Raines, will lead a short ceremony thanking those who served and who have served, addressing representatives from the Forces, veterans, cadets and members of the public who have gathered to pay their respects. She will then raise the flag to the accompaniment of a military bugler.

VOS’ presence at this flag raising ceremony and service is thanks to Mark, our Welfare Manager who will be attending. The flag will be flown all week until the Armed Forces Day celebrations come to a close for 2023.



Date: Sunday 25th June 2023

Location: Eastern Gardens, Ryde

Cost: FREE


Schedule of Events:

10.30am: Day begins, with vendors tabling across the Gardens (including VOS)

11.00am: Marching Parade Starts Off

11:30am: Opening Ceremony on Eastern Gardens

12.00pm: Entertainment Begins (Live Music, Military Vehicles on Show, Children’s Games)

13.30-13.45pm: Lancaster Bomber Fly Past

16.15pm: Spitfire Aerobatic Display

16.30pm: Closing Ceremony


This is sure to be an action-packed day out. If you’re marching in the parade and would like to reserve a free parking space for the Isle of Wight Armed Forces Day, organisers would like you to fill out this form: Veteran Parking Form.

Be on the lookout for VOS’ IOW Delivery Manager Tony and members of our strong Isle of Wight veteran community at this event. You can read more about what they get up to by visiting this page: Veterans Outreach Support Isle of Wight

If you’re a veteran from the UK Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy (from any time of service) or a partner to one, VOS would love for you to join our community. We are here to offer our support: call us on 02392 731 767, visit an upcoming drop-in, or email

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