BOROUGH veterans are invited to have their commemorative medals and badges officially presented at this year's Armed Forces Day at Himley Hall.

The event will be held in the grounds of the historic hall from 11am to 5pm on Sunday June 29 to celebrate the work of Dudley's dedicated servicemen and women.

Medals and badges including the HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge will be presented by the Mayor of Dudley to veterans living in the borough.

The event will also include a band concert, a youth marching band competition, a display of historic military vehicles and free children’s entertainment including a zip line, go carts and trampolines. There will be activities to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One plus performances by the D-Day Darlings and the Beating of the Retreat will close the event.

John Polychronakis, Dudley Council's chief executive, said: "The event goes from strength to strength each year and we hope this year is no exception.

"The most important part of the day is celebrating the achievements of local veterans and I would urge anyone entitled to a HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge, Arctic Star and Bomber Command Clasp to come forward and have their badges and medals presented on the day.”

This year's event will be sponsored by the West Midlands office of Forces Recruitment Services (FRS) - a national recruitment firm which has helped more than 2,000 ex-servicemen and women get back into employment since its launch in 2001.

And Paul Lewis, regional director for FRS - who served in the army for 22 years, will be among the veterans having his Veterans Badge presented at this year's event.

He said: “Being an ex-forces man myself it's not just a pleasure but a privilege to be part of the one day of the year when the whole country comes together to celebrate our servicemen an women's contribution. "Being able to be sponsor this event gives me as great a pleasure as any of my personal service achievements.”

Mr Polychronakis added: "We're delighted this year's Armed Forces Day event has the support of Forces Recruitment Services."

Anyone who thinks they may be entitled to one of the HM Armed Forces Veterans Badges can call the Veterans UK helpline on 0808 1914 218 or email or to apply. Veterans need to have applied for and received their badges to be able to have them presented on the day. Second World War veterans who served on the Arctic Convoys and in the Bomber Command can also apply for their badges before Armed Forces Day by calling the Veterans UK helpline.

Anyone who has already received a badge but not had it formally presented before can contact Dudley Council on 01384 818186 to be part of the ceremony.