Armed Forces Day 2024


There is no national event for Armed Forces Day this year – it doesn’t look like any council wanted to take it on, or had the resources to. See the response to our Freedom of Information request to the MoD.

But there are many local events around the UK – you can see the full list here. Most events will be held on the weekend of the 29th and 30th June but some are held a week before or after. There has been a drop in the number of local events from 316 in the peak year of 2019 to 189 this year, perhaps as councils are less willing to put resources in to it and realise it is a divisive issue in the community.

We’ve heard from a number of groups around the country – including in Leicester, Portsmouth, Leeds, Weymouth, Aldershot, Cambridge and Irvine – that they will be resisting the militaristic message of these events.

In previous years, the national event has cost councils hundreds of thousands of pounds to run. This year the Ministry of Defence is spending over £420k on local Armed Forces Day events with some councils having to find significant additional funding.

Many of the Armed Forces Day events around the country are marketed as ‘family fun’ days and/or have displays of weapons and military vehicles on armed forces recruitment stands. Young people, including small children, are encouraged to handle the weapons or play on the vehicles. You can see photos of primary schools children in a tank and fighter jet, and displays of weapons, at the national Armed Forces Day ‘youth day’ in Falmouth last year.

Armed Forces Day press release (29 June 2024) from ForcesWatch and Peace Pledge Union

New video: Is anti-militarism unpatriotic?

Delving deeper into Armed Forces Day, we examine the incentives behind these events. Where did Armed Forces Day come from and what is it trying to achieve.

New resources

We have teamed up with the Peace Pledge Union to make resources available for raising these and other issues at local Armed Forces Day events. If you would like to order postcards and/or stickers, email as soon as possible.

Poster for printing. Click the image to see a larger version.   Download poster
Reverse side of postcard. Click the image to see a larger version.


Other resources

Our analysis of the national event in Falmouth in 2023, and other articles about Armed Forces Day

Podcasts: What’s wrong with Armed Forces Day (2020) with Symon Hill of The Peace Pledge Union, and Unpacking Armed Forces Day with Dr Ross McGarry (2022).

Produced by ForcesWatch and Quaker Peace & Social Witness, this website and resource pack provides an introduction to current expressions of militarism and ideas for challenging it in local communities.

Our Kids with Guns resource questions whether  the armed forces encourage young people to interact with weapons and military vehicles?  We explore why this is happening and how can it be challenged?
This booklet produced by Quakers in Britain provides resources and advice for challenging military activities within schools.
See War School online and associated learning resources 


See more: military in society, recruitment, Armed Forces Day