Posted on: Wednesday 18th May 2022

An annual event for veterans

As part of Armed Forces Day 2022, Coral Island will be putting on its annual event for veterans from the UK’s armed forces on Thursday 23 June, and this year, we will be opening it up to various local children’s organisation’s from the Blackpool area.


But what is Armed Forces Day? We have a look at this relatively new event, and why we think it is important to remember and celebrate the men and women who make significant contributions to the defence and safety of our country.


Veteran’s Day


Armed Forces Day began as Veteran’s Day and was first announced in 2006 by Gordon Brown, who was then the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Veteran’s Day aimed to make sure that the contribution of the British Armed Forces veterans was not forgotten.


In contrast to Remembrance Day on 11 November, which has a focus on honouring those who gave their lives for their country, Veteran’s Day, which was created as an extension of Veteran’s Awareness Week, is centred on celebrating current and ex-servicemen and women.


The first Veteran’s Day was held on 27 June 2006, which coincided with the day after the anniversary of the first investiture in 1857 of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system, awarded for valour ‘in the presence of the enemy’ to members of the British Armed Forces.


The event saw numerous celebrations across the UK, including events at the Imperial War Museum, parades in several cities, and a special service at Westminster Abbey.


In 2008, Veteran’s Day was centred on Blackpool, which was home to one of the largest military training centres during the Second World War. The special week of celebrations saw Spitfires soaring above the promenade, as well as many other amazing demonstrations, such as one Falklands veteran abseiling down Blackpool Tower!


Armed Forces Day


In 2009, the name of the annual event was changed to Armed Forces Day, so that it could encompass those currently serving in the British Armed Forces, as well as its veterans. Armed Forces Day is held on the last Saturday of June every year, but events are typically held throughout the previous week, starting on Monday with the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag on buildings and landmarks across the country.


The day is an opportunity for the British public to show their support for the many men and women who make up the British Armed Forces community, including those currently in service, Service families, cadets, reservists, and of course, veterans.


There are many ways for the British public to get involved across the UK and show their support for the brave men and women in the Armed Forces.


Why do we celebrate Armed Forces Day?


Giving support to the members of the Armed Forces can help provide a much-valued morale boost for our troops and their families.


In recent years, members of the Armed Forces helped bolster the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, manning testing stations in all weather, giving their time, including weekends and leave to help with the rollout of the vaccines, constructing Nightingale Hospitals, and serving on the frontline in the war against the virus.


It shows how much the British public owes so much to those in uniform, and the contribution they have made in the UK, as well as those who serve in areas of conflict around the world.


Seven days a week, 365 days of the year, members of the Armed Forces are working all around the world helping to protect the UK, from training with partners to promoting peace. British forces are currently taking part in a number of training exercises across Europe with NATO partners in one of the largest deployments since the end of the Cold War.


The work that servicemen and women do can be dangerous, in blistering hot temperatures, or the frigid cold. It is hard work that can keep members away from their homes and families for long periods.


However, when servicemen and women do finally take off their uniforms, it can be difficult for them and their families, to find themselves without the sense of purpose or service that they have become accustomed to during their years in the Armed Forces, and it is equally important we show our support and gratitude to these veterans too.


Armed Forces Day at Coral Island


Armed Forces Week in Blackpool is an opportunity to say thank you to the hard-working men and women, and at Coral Island, we want to give our thanks too.


On Thursday 23 June, serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans are invited to join us at The Buccaneer, Coral Island’s family bar and restaurant for a two-course carvery meal and complimentary drink between 3 pm and 6.30 pm.


It is expected to be a popular event, so booking is required, and a fully-refundable deposit of £5 to secure a place, which can be done by calling 01253 922182.


This year, places will be opened to local families from local groups too, and we will also be inviting members of local children’s organisation’s such as the Scouts, Cubs, Sea Cadets, and Brownies to come and enjoy the entertainment at Coral Island.


Each child will receive £3 worth of two pence pieces to try their luck on the penny-pushers, a traditional seaside arcade activity, a VIP card, and a voucher for a kids meal and drink from Peggy’s Snack Bar from 5pm onwards. To register your interest as a children’s organisation please email


We hope that you will all come and join us in showing support to our brave servicemen and women this June and that our invited Armed Forces personnel and veterans enjoy our complimentary hospitality as a token of our gratitude for the work they have done for the UK.


If you’d like more information about Armed Forces Day at Coral Island, or more information about our Pirate-themed, family-friendly venue for when you visit Blackpool this summer, get in touch today!

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