WYRE Forest marked the build-up to Armed Forces Day by raising the flag at a special ceremony in Kidderminster.

The event was attended on Monday by civic dignitaries including the mayors of Kidderminster, John Campion, Stourport, Ken Henderson and Bewdley, Linda Candlin, MP Mark Garnier and Wyre Forest District Council chairman Fran Oborski, who read the declaration.

Standard bearers from the district’s ex-combatant associations and Royal British Legion branches joined school children from across the district in a procession. Kidderminster RBL’s new canine mascot Cassie made her first public appearance.

Armed forces representatives, in full military uniforms, gathered under the canopy of the Swan Centre and marched down Vicar Street to the town hall where the flag was raised at 10.30am following Mrs Obosrki’s speech.

Prayers were led by Rev Rose Lawley and a choir featuring pupils from Foley Park Primary School performed songs.

Mrs Oborski said: “It was a really good event, with a great turnout from the public. I was proud that we had a lot of school children at the event as well as members of the Scouts and [First Kidderminster] Boys’ Brigade.”

The event was part of the build up to Armed Forces Day, which takes place on Saturday. The flag is kept flying until after the occassion.

Henry Atkins, Kidderminster Royal British Legion treasurer said: “It was absolutely marvellous. The importance of the day is the main thing, the involvement of the young children was marvellous.”

Mr Campion added: “It was really nice to see the people of the district come out on a Monday morning and it was a real honour to be part of a process that honours our armed forces who put their lives at risk every day.”

The district council was one of hundreds of council across the country taking part in the annual national flag raising ceremony.