One day site-wide closure to the public

Wednesday 14 August 2019

The Royal British Legion will host a commemorative event at the National Memorial Arboretum on Wednesday 14 August 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of the UK Armed Forces’ deployment in Northern Ireland. The deployment was in response to growing sectarian unrest and became the longest continuous deployment in British military history.

The military campaign was code named Operation Banner and the General Service Medal (Northern Ireland) was eventually awarded to over 300,000 Service personnel. The names of the 1,441 UK Armed Forces personnel who died over the subsequent 38 years as result of operations in Northern Ireland or paramilitary actions in other countries, are listed on the Armed Forces Memorial.

This major commemorative event is private and accreditation for Service personnel and veterans is through an application process.

As a result of the very large number of anticipated attendees, the Arboretum has been concerned about the impact on other visitors to the site on that day and has taken the decision to close to the public for the day. Such a decision is not taken lightly and closure has only happened previously for the dedication of the Armed Forces Memorial in 2007 and a handful of times due to dangerous weather conditions.

We have taken steps to ensure that there are no other event bookings or group visits on that day. Our hope is that by widely publicising the closure at this early stage, we can limit any inconvenience to those planning a visit. We do of course regret any inconvenience that this may cause and welcome questions on email:

The site will reopen to the public at 9am on 15 August.