SERVICEMEN and women have been honoured with a special ceremony in Wareham ahead of the annual Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

The short ceremony included a parade inspection of troops, a salute and flag raising “to mark the council’s appreciation on behalf of our local community,” said Purbeck District Council chairman Cllr Bill Trite previously.

Colonel John Ogden, commander of the Armour Centre in Bovington, as well as soldiers and marines based at Bovington and Lulworth were among those taking part in the ceremony at the district council offices.

Local dignitaries, including MP Richard Drax, Councillor Gary Suttle, leader of Purbeck District Council, Wareham Mayor Carol Turner, Swanage Mayor Ali Patrick and district council chief executive officer Steve Mackenzie were present, and residents had also been invited to attend.

The colonel addressed those gathered at Westport House, Worgret Road, speaking on behalf of the armed forces personnel living and working in the county, following a speech by Cllr Trite, who spoke on behalf of the local community. And three cheers were sounded out for the armed forces.

A council spokesman said: “The annual Armed Forces Day takes place on Saturday June 28 and is an opportunity for the nation to show its support to the servicemen and women past and present.”

In 2010 Bovington Garrison was given the freedom of Purbeck, after a parade through the town.