Spotted amongst the top hats and tails today at Royal Ascot were soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and airwomen resplendent in full dress uniform. For the sixth year running the Trustees of Ascot Racecourse Limited have kindly welcomed military personnel as part of their Armed Forces Day celebrations.
Each year, in addition to special ticket offers for military personnel and their families, members of the Armed Forces act as volunteers by carrying out bucket collections for their three principal charities the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Over the last five years more than £135,000 has been raised at Royal Ascot, including donations from racegoers and corporate support from Ascot Racecourse, and today more than 100 serving personnel joined forces to collect on behalf of the three military charities.
Brigadier (Ret'd) Peter Walker OBE, Berkshire County Chairman ABF The Soldiers' Charity, said on behalf of the three charities: "We are so grateful to the Trustees of Ascot Racecourse and all the racegoers who have been so generous and welcoming today. The day is always a highlight in our calendars and it is so lovely to see the public engage with servicemen and women.
"Our charities help the entire military family, from our oldest Second World War Veterans to those currently serving at home and abroad, and we simply couldn’t do that without the overwhelming support from the public, as we saw once again from Royal Ascot visitors.
"This year we have celebrated and commemorated several big anniversaries, including the centenary of the end of the First World War, 75 years since the famous Dambusters raid and of course the Royal Air Force's 100th birthday and so it feels even more special that we are here today."