SOMERSET County Council has raised the flag outside County Hall in Taunton to mark Armed Forces Day this coming Saturday (June 25).

The authority's chairman Cllr Mike Best was joined by the council’s armed forces champion Cllr Henry Hobhouse, council leader Cllr Bill Revans, and deputy leader Cllr Liz Leyshon for the ceremony this morning (Monday, June 20).

Cllr Best said: “It was a great honour to raise the flag outside County Hall to show our support and respect for our Armed Forces and the work they do locally, nationally and internationally.

“Whether in times of war or peace, the brave men and women in our armed forces stand ready to protect others and it is only right that we recognise their service."

Somerset has a long history of armed forces based in the county, including the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton and 40 Commando Royal Marines, based at Norton Manor Camp.

Cllr Henry Hobhouse, Somerset armed forces champion, said: “Even without war service, all members of the armed forces leave with a regimented mindset.

"Which means that they are in the majority of homeless people within the UK.

"This council needs to work across all services to ensure the people who have served their country are looked after on their retirement.”

Somerset County Council is supporting the Armed Forces Open Day taking place at ARK at Egwood CIC, near Merriott, this Saturday.

The event is between 10.30am and 4pm and will feature historic military vehicles, a motorbike procession by The Legion’s Riders of Crewkerne, a rowing challenge and African drumming.

There is also the chance to support the armed forces and learn more about their work at the free Somerset Armed Forces Day event in Vivary Park, Taunton, on Saturday, July 2, from 10am to 6pm.

The event will include living history groups, various military units and historic vehicles, live music, as well as an array of stands, stalls, and food vendors.

The county council leads the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant Partnership which brings together charities, local authorities, other public sector organisations, businesses, communities, individuals and the military in a pledge of support between local residents and the armed forces community in Somerset.