LIVERPOOL will mark Armed Forces Week with a series of events, culminating in a special service and the exhibiting of a quilt made by war widows.
The commemorative events will begin on Monday, 19 June, with the Armed Forces Week flag being flown from Liverpool Town Hall, raised by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Mary Rasmussen.
The flag raising will follow a civic reception with senior representatives of the Armed Forces, the Merchant Navy and The Royal British Legion.
During the week, reservists, veterans and Liverpool City Council staff who volunteer with the cadets will be invited to a civic reception at the Town Hall with the Lord Mayor.
War Widows Quilt exhibition – Saturday 24 June
St George’s Hall will hold a special, free exhibition of the War Widows Quilt from 10am – 4pm.
Made by over 90 war widows and their families from over fifty armed forces shirts, the War Widows Quilt is a beautiful, moving piece of art that tells stories of love, loss, grief and survival, and shines a much-needed light on the lives of war widows in the UK, past and present. A drinks reception will be held from 4.30-6pm, with tickets available here.
The event will be accompanied by the publication of a new edition of the War Widows Quilt exhibition book, which reveals what lies behind each of the Quilt’s patches, its making, and introduces the many life stories recorded by the project. The book will be available to visitors in return for a donation to the War Widows Association (WWA).
The quilt making was part of the War Widows’ Stories project, which has been funded by Liverpool John Moores University, the Arts & Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England, the British Academy, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Armed Forces Day Service and Parade – Saturday 24 June
The city’s annual service, for invited guests, will be held at Liverpool Parish Church, Our Lady and St Nicholas, followed by a parade to the Royal Albert Dock.
The service will start at 10.30am and the parade involving the band of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, veterans and cadets, will leave the church at 11.15am, ending at 11.45am.
A rolling roadblock will be in place whilst the parade proceeds down Chapel Street and then along The Strand towards the Royal Albert Dock.
The Town Hall and St George’s Hall will also be lit red, white and blue on the evening of Saturday 24 June.
Lord Mayor, Cllr Mary Rasmussen, said:
“Liverpool has had a long association with the Armed Forces and we are proud to mark the contribution that current and past service personnel make to the safety and security of countries around the world.
“Armed Forces Week is an opportunity to thank the individuals who put their lives on the line to protect others, often sacrificing time with friends and family to spend long periods on duty across the globe.
“We owe them all a debt of gratitude for the personal sacrifices they make in order to make the world a safer place for us all.”
Dr Nadine Miller, Reader in Women’s and Gender Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, who led on the War Widows Stories project, said:
“We first exhibited the War Widows Quilt in 2019, at the Queen’s House, Greenwich, after which, sadly, the global pandemic soon put a stop to our plans to tour the Quilt around the UK.
“This exhibition marks an important step in continuing the Quilt’s journey and in our mission to raise awareness of the challenges war widows face every day.
“The War Widows Quilt is a stunning testament to the strength and resilience of the women who have made it, the therapeutic effects of art and of making, and a reminder of the sacrifices made by our armed forces and their families.”