Countdown to Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day 2021
Photo: © Martin Gillman /

Armed Forces Week 2021 begins on 21 June – when the whole country celebrates and says thanks to our military community of service personnel, reserves, ex-service, veterans, and families for their commitment to keeping us safe.

While many of the special events and activities planned will be virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, this does not lessen the importance of this special period and there are many ways for individuals, communities and organisations to get involved.

The virtual events are also a reminder of the battle being waged against Covid-19 and how our UK Armed Forces have been on the front line throughout, providing specialist skills and expertise in Scotland and beyond.

Armed Forces Week kicks off on Monday, 21 June, when the Armed Forces Day flag is raised on buildings and landmarks across the UK. Reserves Day on Wednesday, 23 June, is a chance to recognise our Reserve Forces, with festivities building up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday, 26 June.

This week-long show of support provides a much-valued morale boost for our veterans, ex-service, troops and their families.   

To find out more, visit the Armed Forces Day website.


21-26 JuneIn-person, StirlingArmed Forces day at Stirling School of English
This week-long exhibition showcases the artwork of current students of the Stirling School of English (Scottish Charity, SC0 29640), inspired by their real, lived experiences – including economic migrants and refugees. It also showcases to the public their ongoing support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces. The event brings together different organisations and educational institutions and provides opportunities for students to break down exclusionary barriers.

Tel: 07925249243
Until 26 JuneVirtualErskine’s Big Picnic
Host a picnic on any date in June in the run-up to Armed Forces Day on June 26 to help raise funds for Erskine. Request a free Erskine Big Picnic Pack (full of tips and recipes) and find out more on the Erskine website.

You can also join Erskine’s Big Picnic Virtual Event on 26 June from 2pm. Special guests include actress Elaine C. Smith. Find out more on Facebook at Erskine Veterans Charity
26 JuneIn-person, Irvine, AyrshireArmed Forces Day Parade
10am-2pm (Timings are approximate)
Parade through the town centre with a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial and then a church service.
26 JuneIn-person, Erskine Home, BishoptonBravehound Armed Forces Day Dog Show
Representatives from all three branches of the Armed Forces join us to judge: RAF The Most Aerodynamic Ears. Find out more
26 June Linton Lane Centre, Kircaldy, FifeA Veteran’s Best Friend Armed Forces Day Event
A Veteran’s Best Friend is a Scottish charity which trains and partners rescue dogs to assist ex-service people, offering companionship and therapeutic support. This bake sale and free dog-handling demo will raise funds for the organisation. Find out more
26 JuneIn-person, Aberdeen centreAberdeen Armed Forces Day Parade
Military men and women, ex-services associations, cadets and youth organisations will be accompanied by pipe bands and vintage military vehicles as they march down Union Street, finishing at the Castlegate. Find out more
26 JuneIn-person, Dunbar, East LothianDunbar Armed Forces Day
The service and sacrifice of both Armed Services and Civilian Services will be recognised, starting with a parade including serving personnel, ex-Services, Cadets and local NHS staff. This will be followed by a social event for parade participants.

The parade will be led by the Dunbar British Legion Pipe Band and the salute taken by the Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian. Local shops are encouraged to support the event with Armed Forces themed displays and we will have a static display of photographs and memorabilia commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE and VJ, which we were unable to do last year due to the Covid crisis.

Local NHS staff who have been in the front line of the Covid crisis will be recognised at the social event.

Tel: 01368 863 275
26 JuneVirtualWest Lothian Armed Forces Day
This celebratory event will be live-streamed on social media (including the West Lothian Armed Forces Day Facebook page).

A number of local musicians are participating and performing to help thank the men and women of HM Armed Forces, their families and this year also all key workers.

Tel: 07795 463 366
26 JuneIn-person, Skelmorlie, AyrshireSkelmorlie Armed Forces Aircraft Recognition Day
This free event for all will showcase a Second World War replica Royal Observer Corps aircraft reporting post with original equipment and a collection of Second World War-era model aircraft.

Tel: 07513 504115

Hosting an event?

Let us know about your Armed Forces Day events around the country, we’ll update this page to list all the events celebrating the Armed Forces and their families.