In 2008 the Government published a response to the Report of Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces. In this document a series of recommendations were put forward to increase public engagement with the military in order to build a positive perception of the Armed Forces and by extension the wars they fight.

The 40 recommendations included; the wider use of uniforms in public, open days, an increased number of combined cadet forces in comprehensive schools and the creation of an Armed Forces Day.

Veterans Day had been launched in 2006 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, he said the aim was to ensure that the contribution of veterans was never forgotten. It was decided to change the name to Armed Forces Day for 2009 and broaden the scope to raise awareness and appreciation for those on active duty.

The purpose of Armed Forces Day is to build a positive perception of the Armed Forces and by extension the wars they fight.

This year on Armed Forces Day VFP UK will be holding an event in York. We aim to give the public an honest insight into military life and war. Members of the public and members of VFP from around the country are encouraged to attend.

Information on our Armed Forces Day events 

Facebook Event

Download An Event Flyer

Veterans For Peace UK is an ex-services organisation of men and women. Collectively we have served in every conflict that Britain has fought in since WW2. We say; War is not the solution to the problems we face in the 21st century.



  1. Garry H says:

    What are the two 3 letter words that connect today’s industrialized nations and aspiring industrialized nations to modern overt and covert military engagments, geopolotical actions, concerns and policy, eccomnic and corporate interest and resulting policy? They are the 3 words that all know to be true but dare utter….OIL, GAS!

  2. Brian Lamb says:

    In answer to Garry H’s question – why I don’t return my pension to the Treasury – I need the money.

    I am able to work in most jobs and willing to learn new skills, but it’s the age barrier. I’m now 80. I hit the age barrier when I was 62 – rather late in life, compared to other people’s experiences. I was working in the London Stock Exchange. Despite good punctuality, accuracy in my work (most essential), having taken no sick leave over about 18 months, and initiating fact sheets to help other operators, they decided to give me the push.

    Maybe employers might not be legally allowed to impose such a barrier now, but the tendency still exists – there’s a way round it.

    Then there are other possible barriers to employment – you could be over qualified, or under qualified, etc. If you don’t fit well into an employer’s ‘pigeon hole’, then there’s little hope – apart from pursuing your own line of work.

    I’m still self-employed on a part-time basis, so these employment barriers are not so important to me.

    1. Garry H says:

      It sounds just like life in the U.S. where I now live, Brian. Without a Batchelors or Masters degree, expect only low paid, menieal work. It’s hard to live here and, yes, its a very age discriminate society today. Let’s not get into a debate about our views…we all want the.same thing…a better world for all despite the complexities of human nature and a rising global population. VFP members are good people, but the Armed Forces should not be disrespected, but the reasons why we seem to perpetuate war (another topic) need to be examined and challenged. Take care of yourself, Brian. Much respect. Garry

  3. Garry H says:

    I accept and respect the responses to my comment, although I also stand by my remarks. I am a veteran and I abhore the current reasons why wars occur in realrion to energy security and a multitude other geoplotical, ecconomic and political reasons. This organistion is named Veterans for Peace…..NOT Veterans Against the Military. We should all be very proud of our Armed Forces and it bothers me that VFPUK seem to verging away from the primary concern as we all want a better world. Why don’t memebers return their pensions to the Treasury?

  4. Brian Lamb says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that Veterans For Peace should expose the realities of military service. I was a conscript for 2 years in the 1950s. I still sometimes hear that National Service is a good thing – usually from people who know very little about it. Their perception is often based on wishful thinking and/or beliefs of convenience.

    One lady commented last year that my experience hadn’t done me any harm. After my discharge, it took me 2-3 months to gain back my basic health, and later I realised that I had developed angina during army service. I now suffer from that very rarely, having brought it under control by natural methods many years ago.

    I rate my experience in the army as being only 60% bad.

    The benefits I experienced include:

    Independence from an overbearing negative mother.

    Contact with a Congregationalist minister who taught Christianity in a way which could be applied for everyday use – I needed a blueprint for living. He has helped me personally in many ways, and has been the most important person in my life so far.

    Appreciation of a better climate – I was in Libya for 20 months of my 2 year service.

    My first complaint – not enough food when in the UK or abroad. I think most of my fellow conscripts spent most of their money in NAAFI shops buying extra food. I was reluctant to do this, firstly because I didn’t want to repeat the harsh experience of the winter before I was called up, when I developed hypothermia symptoms (not enough money for heating). Secondly it was the duty of the army to look after me. I was also saving hard to pay for a 4 year part-time course in Naturopathy.

    The army taught me skills I’ve never used in civvy street – ironing out the pimples on boots, polishing floors so well that you could see your own reflection in them – etc. What a waste of time and energy !

    During training, every now and then we were allowed to go home for the weekend. First problem with this – we had to present ourselves on return to camp with our uniform in first class order. This meant starting to work on the gaiters and belt on the Saturday afternoon – the old oil-based Blanco had to be scrubbed off – the fabric had to dry before the new Blanco could be applied. When that was dry, then we had to polish the brasses. My mother thought this was all unnecessary and I was making it up. She also incorrectly thought I wasn’t eating all the food offered – I was appearing progressively thin, and unwell. Examples of disbelief of convenience !

    When abroad, occasionally I was put on part-time guard duty at night. Then expected to be fully functional as the Chief Clerk of the Medical Branch of the headquarters by day. That was neither fair or practical.

    Initially we had to wash our canteen ware in cold water – until there was an epidemic of infective hepatitis in the camp (the headquarters in Lumsden barracks). After that, hot water was provided.

    Garr H says if you disagree with the life, get out. That’s not possible for a conscript – you’re trapped – a pawn in someone’s war game.

    In 1962 I was in danger of being recalled for an additional 6 months service. Conscription had come to an end and the military were short of trained personnel. I wrote many shirty letters to the authorities; I was not recalled. Had I been, this could have completely derailed my career. I was in the final year at college, and it would not have been possible to resume the course 6 months later, midway in an academic year.

    While in the army I learned not to think outside the working area I was responsible for. Do as you’re told – no less, no more. I had to unlearn this attitude after several prompts from different people, when I returned to civilian life. When in civvy street, you’re confronted with a much wider range of issues that have to be dealt with. For a year I felt I couldn’t cope – wanted to get back into the army – under the protection of army administration.

    If military service is unavoidable – presuming the combat situation is fair and justified, can we please have fair conditions?!

  5. David Marchesi says:

    “irrespective of the work we are asked to do” is the nub, if you think about it more, and “asked” in this context is – perhaps not deliberately- misleading. The point is that the “defence” forces of different countries are not to reason why, but to do as ordered, in all circumstances. Thus, the Israeli “Defence” Forces , considering themselves as the “most moral” in the world (how dare they claim to be more “moral” than the UK’s !! are essentially an occupying force repressing the Palestinians brutally or just with routine humiliation. Their role could very well be compared to that of the UK forces in N. Ireland, or, indeed, to that of the UK invading forces in various countries even today. The cynical use by politicians of all the glamour of uniforms and weapons etc to project an image of the UK military as some kind of philanthropic organisation , removed from blood-letting, should get zero support . On the contrary, as we move further and further into militarism, every occasion should be used to expose and oppose this dire tendency. I applaud the VPF for trying to draw attention away from the “paths of glory which lead but to the grave”- and I feel that it is profoundly dishonest of politicians today to give the impression that war is anything but organised murder. A quite outstanding feature of my lifetime (since WW2) which makes our “defence” establishment especially manipulative and cruel is the increasing proportion of direct war casualties who are civilians, women, children, the old . These should haunt our conscience, and , in many cases, do haunt the minds of ex-servicemen/women who did not reason why when recruited and ordered to go and “do their job”, in our name.

  6. Garry H says:

    I strongly disagree with VFPUK on posts such as these. WEe all should be proud of our Armed Forces, irrespective of the nature of the work we are asked to do. As I have said before, there are many people, like me, who are grateful of their military careers and know full well what the nature of their work is. There are lots of people who serve and blame their failed lives in the real world on the military and lots of people I knew when I was in were idiots then and will be the same as civies. I welcome Armed Forces Day and feel we all should be proud of our military. It is a positive aspect that recognition be all 3 branches of our military. If you disagree with the life, get out and do something else. I had many positive and negative experiences in the military and, at he close of my career, I di question Iraq, the mysterious evens of 9/11 that triggered a new post Cold War geopolitical generic objective with energy security no doubt being a part of that narrative as well as the perception of a global Islamic terror threat that now seems to drive the current narrative. My concerns are the real objectives of unseen power that drive policy today and the perpetual cycle of events that continue to occupy our attention.

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