FLAGS have been hoisted at Kendal's town and county halls to mark the beginning of Armed Forces Week.

Representatives of the Royal British Legion, the Royal Naval Association and South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) were among those to attend a ceremony at the town hall in Highgate today (Monday). 

Pauline Bateman, a bugler with village band Burneside Brass, played the General Salute while the flag was raised.

SLDC chairman Cllr Pete McSweeney said it was a 'privilege' to 'pay tribute to service personnel past and present'.

“Today, we’ve come together to raise the flag and say thank you for everything the forces do for our country," he said.

"Their duty and dedication to keeping us safe is outstanding, and we would also like to salute their families for the sacrifices they make behind the scenes.

“We all share the same goals of living together in peace, supported by the entire armed forces community.

"I hope that today’s flag raising ceremony will give a much-valued morale boost to South Lakeland’s service personnel and their loved ones at home and overseas.”

Flags have also been raised at the county hall in Kendal's Busher Walk and at Cumbria House in Carlisle.

Cllr Celia Tibble, armed forces portfolio holder at Cumbria County Council (CCC), said: "I am incredibly proud of the work Cumbria County Council does to support our armed forces personnel, particularly our own staff who are serving reservists.

“This week is a great opportunity for communities to come together, and I urge you to find an event local to you to go along to and find out more about our armed forces and those who serve.”

Cllr Andy Connell, chairman of the county council, said: "Armed Forces Week is a great way to show our support for the servicemen and women who make up the armed forces community, from serving troops to service families, veterans, reservists and cadets.

The Westmorland Gazette: FLAG-RAISING: Cllrs Andy Connell and Celia TibbleFLAG-RAISING: Cllrs Andy Connell and Celia Tibble

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the whole nation to show its support and appreciation for the contribution made by all those who have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces at home and abroad, safeguarding the nation’s interests.

"CCC is proud of its strong links with the forces and we’ll be flying the flag to show our appreciation for all that they do.”