A special celebration of Aldershot’s military heritage is planned this year to commemorate the First World War centenary.
The Aldershot Military Festival is returning on June 23 to 28, with activities taking place throughout the week, culminating in a huge garrison open day on the final Saturday.
A festival of music will be held for the first time at the Princes Hall on June 25, with proceeds going to ABF The Soldiers' Charity, while a play will be staged exploring the famous Christmas truce on the front line entitled Our Friends, The Enemy.
A launch day was held on Wednesday (May 7) to give a flavour of what people can expect from this year’s event, with the Aldershot Military Wives Choir taking part for the first time and due to sing with primary school children and the Welsh Guards. Several army vehicles and weaponry were on display.
The festival, which coincides with Armed Forces Week, will also feature glimpses of army life, including sports, ceremonial events, team-building exercises and even conversation. A fun run in aid of SSAFA and a Zumbathon at the AGSC in aid of My Daddy is a Soldier take place on June 29.
Aldershot’s Garrison Commander Colonel Charlie Lambert said: “The theme is based on the First World War and will highlight the contrast between 1914 and 2014, focusing on the positives learned over the intervening 100 years. This is particularly poignant as we return from Afghanistan after 14 years of operations.”
Formerly the Army Show, the annual event was revamped last year as a military festival with the intention of broadening the scope of demonstrations to show all aspects of how important the army is to the town.