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Olympic Torch Relay to reach the National Memorial Arboretum
on Armed Forces Day

The Olympic Torch Relay, which will take place over a period of 70 days and via more than 1000 local communities across the British Isles, is scheduled to reach the National Memorial Arboretum on Armed Forces Day - Saturday 30th June.

Armed Forces Day was introduced in 2009 as a day for the nation to show its support and appreciation for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community. Since then it has been commemorated annually at the Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities.

The arrival of the Olympic Torch at 8.30am will start the Armed Forces Day commemorations at the Arboretum, for which a full programme of events and activities is planned, including a moving Service of Tribute, musical entertainment, a variety of interesting exhibitions and special displays.

After departing the Arboretum, the Olympic Torch Relay will continue to 16 other locations, including Streethay, Lichfield, Tamworth and Walsall, en route to Birmingham.

The Arboretum’s chief executive, Charles Bagot Jewitt, said “The arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay at the National Memorial Arboretum will be a very special moment for our staff, volunteers, visitors and the local community. It seems fitting that it falls on Armed Forces Day, which is a key date in the Arboretum’s calendar of commemorative events, and we hope that many people will join us to celebrate.”

The Arboretum will open early to the public on 30th June to admit visitors for what is expected to be a very memorable event for the Arboretum and the community.

ENDS

For more information:

Kate Habberley, The Royal British Legion, 07943 333362, kate.habberley@talapr.co.uk

Note to Editors:

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. The Arboretum is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities.

Sited in the heart of the Nation, with 50,000 maturing trees and 200 memorials, it is a beautiful and lasting tribute to those who serve their country or who have died in conflict.

Visitors from all walks of life number around 300,000 per year, including Service personnel, veterans, students of all ages, groups and individuals. Over 200 special events are held annually. The Act of Remembrance, including a Silence, is observed daily in the Millennium Chapel.

The Arboretum, situated on land gifted by Lafarge, is home to the striking Armed Forces Memorial which commemorates those who have been killed on duty or as a result of terrorism from the end of the Second World War to the current conflict in Afghanistan.

A £12 million redevelopment campaign is in place for the creation of a world-class Remembrance Centre worthy of those who give so much to our Country. Thanks to the generous donations and pledges received to date, the fund is now half way to its target.

The Olympic Torch Relay will take place over a period of 70 days from 18th May to 27th July via 1018 local communities across the British Isles. The route has been planned to enable 95% of the population to be within 10 miles reach of the Olympic Torch. Large numbers of people are expected to line the streets to celebrate the countdown to the Olympic Games and watch the Olympic Torch as it passes through the West Midlands, carried by a number of the inspirational individuals.


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