HMS Raleigh has helped Torpoint prepare for this year’s Armed Forces Day.

This year’s Armed Forces Day is being hosted in Cornwall, centred around the town of Falmouth. There is a full programme of events leading up to the official day of celebration on Saturday, June 24, and this includes an Armed Forces Day Flag relay across the county.

On Friday, June 16, HMS Raleigh, the Royal Navy’s training establishment sited in Torpoint, took part in the relay and hosted the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Cornwall, the Mayor of Torpoint and his council, as well as members of Cornwall County Council and local school children and older students.

Welcomed by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Rear Admiral Mike Wood CBE JP DL, the visitors witnessed the Armed Forces Day flag being presented by four recruits currently undergoing training to the Captain of HMS Raleigh, Captain Jane Roe ADC Roya Navy, who then passed it to the Mayor of Torpoint, Cllr Gary Davis.

Captain Jane addressed those present said: “The close community support that HMS Raleigh enjoys is fundamental to the success of the training that takes place here.” Mindful of the diverse workforce within HMS Raleigh she reflected, “Whether it be through local schools supporting Service children, the hosting of youth training or the excellent workforce employed from the local area, every Service person assigned here truly values the support given and we enjoy taking every opportunity to further nurture our mutual friendships. It therefore gives me great pleasure to hand over this Armed Forces Day flag as part of the National event in Cornwall and look forward to seeing it flying proudly from the Town centre.”

Mayor Gary Davis responded: “It’s a great honour and privilege to take part in the Flag Relay ceremony and receive the Armed Forces Day flag from HMS Raleigh on behalf of the community of Torpoint. It is a clear and visible sign of our deep rooted community support for our armed forces and specifically the Navy which has been an integral part of our town’s development and activities within the community.”

The event was witnessed by school children from Carbeile Junior School and students from Torpoint Community College, as well as Royal Naval Association (RNA) veterans who work closely with the Initial Naval Training for Ratings, mentoring the families as their loved ones undergo military and maritime training.

Shipmate Terry Whitty, the lead mentor from the RNA working in HMS Raleigh proudly said: “As a local, I love continuing to interact with the sailors training here.” Recalling the Association’s motto he added, “Once Navy, Always Navy is never truer than here at HMS Raleigh and Torpoint. The community here are all very supportive, and as a veteran I am very grateful for all the pride in His Majesty’s Armed Forces evident here in Torpoint and Cornwall as a whole.”

After the presentation, guests and visitors were hosted in one of HMS Raleigh’s churches, where they had to opportunity of talking to recruits as well as reaffirm links with the training team. One of those recruits taking part was AB2 Toby Wallace, a recruit from Cornwall who joined the RN in early March this year, “I am excited to see Armed Forces Day being hosted in Cornwall and am proud to feel the camaraderie between the locals of Torpoint and HMS Raleigh.”

Reflecting on the importance of maintain contact with the community he added, “It’s important to remember those who have served before me, and it was good to talk to the Veterans here today. I was moved to hear that they now look at me to carry on their service, and I look forward to generating my own memories and adventures in the Royal Navy.”

The Armed Forces Day flag will be hoisted officially in Torpoint and HMS Raleigh on Monday, June 19, aligned with the main event in Falmouth and across the county.