Medway will join the rest of the country to honour the armed forces on Saturday, 30 June with a gala day of ceremonial pomp, celebration and remembrance.

More than 400 participants will march through Rochester, led by HM band of the Royal Marines (Collingwood) – including veterans with their standards, serving members of the Armed Forces and 1 RSME regt – celebrating the Bi-centenary of their establishment at Brompton.

The parade will start in Crow Lane at 10.45am and march past the War Memorial in Rochester High Street before proceeding into the Rochester Castle Gardens for a traditional military Drumhead Service conducted by Rev Canon Paul Kerr, in the presence of the Lord Lt of Kent. The Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Rodney Chambers and The Mayor of Medway, Cllr Vaughan Hewett will also be in attendance.

Displays and activities will take place in the Castle Gardens from 10.30am to 4pm, featuring the Rochester based volunteers of the RE Bomb Disposal Squadron and the infantry of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. Joining them will be medical personnel of the 4th Medical Regiment based in Ditton, the Chatham Royal Naval Reserve unit, the RAF recruiters and the Army with a huge inflatable assault course. Completing the line-up will be the have-a-go mini-diggers from Diggerland and some children’s rides.

The afternoon will include a range of musical entertainment led by singing duo, the Swingtime Sweethearts fresh from recent performances to HM The Queen and other members of the Royal Family. Also appearing will be the Royal Marines Band, the Rochester Pipe Band and the Fabulous Fezheads.

Medway has held Armed Forces Day celebrations every year since it was chosen to host the first national armed forces day in 2009.

The Leader of Medway Council Cllr Rodney Chambers said: “Armed Forces Day is an opportunity for everyone to show our servicemen and women the support and respect they deserve for the work they do all and the sacrifices they make on our behalf. So I urge as many people as possible to come along and help us make this a memorable day for everyone.”

This year’s event is supported by Medway Council, The Ministry of Defence, and BAE Systems Rochester.