Veterans Raffle Enjoys Military Spectacular
Published on 4 October 2018
On 29 September, some of the Veterans Raffle team were lucky enough to visit Longleat’s Military Spectacular – a wonderful celebration of the armed forces and an opportunity for the public to give thanks.
For the second year running, this celebration of the armed services took place over the last weekend of September. As well as playing host to a wealth of impressive armoured combat vehicles for land and sea, interactive demonstrations and rousing musical processions, Longleat provided people of all ages the chance to get up close to military machines and engage with military personnel.
From stepping aboard a Rigid Raider or getting the view from atop an AS-90 self-propelled howitzer, to weighting a missile or getting behind a L118 light gun, to getting in the driving seat of a Green Goddess or exploring the cockpit of a Gazelle Helicopter, it was fantastic to see children taking such as interest and developing a better understanding of what our armed services do.
It was just as pleasing to see the military, many of which are based in Wiltshire, enjoying some downtime as they visited the safari park and surrounding attractions with their families between performances and demonstrations. And, like us, they even caught a peek at two of Longleat’s newest recruits – baby red panda twins that were out on one of their first reconnaissance missions!
Our top three highlights of the day were:
- The Royal British Legion’s interactive Thank You sculpture, which members of the public were welcomed to graffiti with their own words of thanks and support. As well as a bustling stand where people were stocking up on poppies ready for next month’s Remembrance Sunday
- With the stunning backdrop of Longleat House, The Royal Artillery Marching Band played a mix of traditional music including The British National Anthem as well as stirring modern classics such as This is Me from The Greatest Showman, whose words are sure to resonate with PTSD veterans
- The magical glow-lit parachute jump performed by The Lightning Bolts Army Parachute Display Team REME at sunset
It was also a pleasure to see the Marquess of Bath, and Viscount Weymouth with his family, at the sunset ceremony where members of the public, the armed forces and the military bands gathered on the front lawn of Longleat House.
Veterans Raffle hopes that this event continues in the coming years so more awareness can be created of the great work the British Army, Navy, RAF and Special Forces do. To support Armed Forces & Emergency Services Veterans, please enter our Veterans Raffle here.