THOUSANDS of people flocked to Dudley to mark the biggest Armed Forces Day event in the borough’s history.

Dudley Council organised activities throughout the day on Sunday July 1 which brought crowds to Dudley town centre and Himley Hall.

The Royal Mercian Lancastrian Yeomanry kicked off the celebrations when more than 100 troops marched through Dudley town centre.

More than 2,000 people lined the streets with flags and banners to welcome the soldiers, who were also presented with a freedom scroll by the Mayor of Dudley.

Himley Hall also hosted activities throughout the day to honour the work of the men and women of the armed forces.

The Mayor of Dudley presented veterans with HM Armed Forces Veterans Badges, while the park played host to a display of military vehicles, music from the D-Day Darlings.

Games and other free family activities were also laid on.

Councillor Melvyn Mottram, Mayor of Dudley, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people coming along to our Armed Forces Day celebrations.

“We had lots more going on than ever before and I would like to thank everyone involved in making the day such a huge success.

“We have a long and happy tradition of working closely with the armed forces and this is why these celebrations are so important to remind everyone of the vitally important work they do.”

The event, sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, Richardsons and SaBRE, was the biggest in the borough’s history amd saw dozens of distinguished military representatives come to Dudley for the celebrations.

The council also signed up to a community covenant with the armed forces which outlines a number of ways the authority can support members of the armed forces during or after active service, and their families.

Other community organisations including police and health pledged support for the agreement which is a commitment to encourage communities to support the armed forces.