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Op Banner 50 Event Information

Important Information for Guests

Please read this document carefully. We recommend download the joining instructions document to save to your device or print and bring with you on the day.


Please note the information contained in this document is correct at the time of sending and details are subject to change. We will be in touch by email with any major changes and you can visit the event website for any updates and FAQs


The Royal British Legion is hosting a commemorative event to mark the 50th anniversary of the UK Armed Forces’ deployment on operations in Northern Ireland – the longest continuous campaign in British military history. The event will take place on 14 August 2019. 


Attendees of the event will include recipients of the General Service Medal (Northern Ireland), Emergency Services in support of Op Banner and families of British Armed Forces and Civilian Service personnel killed as a result of operations in Northern Ireland.


The National Memorial Arboretum will open at 09:00 and close at 17:00. The Commemorative Ceremony will begin at 14:00 at the Armed Forces Memorial and there will be a number of Associations hosting their own memorial activities throughout the day.


Event Timings

Activity Location Timings
Catton Hall Park and Ride Open Catton Hall 08:00    
Accreditation Open Catton Hall 08:30
Arboretum Doors Open National Memorial Arboretum 09:00
Op Banner 50 Commemorative Event Armed Forces Memorial (Rear) 14:00
Arboretum Closes National Memorial Arboretum 17:00

Getting to the National Memorial Arboretum

  • Driving

Vehicles will not be permitted access to the Arboretum directly. All vehicles, including drop-offs, coaches and taxis, must go to the Catton Hall Park and Ride (postcode DE12 8LN) for accreditation.

On your approach to the Arboretum, please follow any yellow directional signage as this will direct you along the best route to the Park and Ride site where accreditation will take place. We recommend that you allow plenty of time for your journey, as we are expecting large visitor numbers for the event.

  • Parking

The Catton Hall Car Park (postcode DE12 8LN) will be open from 08:00 and there will be no charge. There will be allocated blue badge parking.

Shuttle buses will be provided from the park and ride location to the Arboretum. Buses will be suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. 


  • Taxis

Taxis will be available at all train stations. You can also pre-book:


  • City Cars offer special pre-booked taxi rates for visitors to the Arboretum. Phone 01543 254999 for bookings and further information.
  • Ambassador Taxis also offer special pre-booked taxi rates for visitors. Phone 01283 544 700 or visit their website for bookings and more information.

Catton Hall Park and Ride map


All guests must go through the accreditation process. Accreditation will take place at the Catton Hall Park and Ride and will be subject to security searches. If you have not previously accredited and registered, please contact

Security, Searches and Prohibited Items

The safety and security of all visitors to the Op Banner 50 event is of paramount importance, and there will be enhanced security measures in place in for this event.


The Royal British Legion and The National Memorial Arboretum work closely with Staffordshire Police and other relevant organisations to ensure that security measures at the Op Banner 50 event are commensurate with the existing threat level in the UK.


We would like to actively reassure the public that the safety and security of all visitors is our priority and while it is at the forefront of all staff members’ minds, we ask everyone to remain vigilant. Anything looking out of place or appearing suspicious should be reported immediately to staff, Security, Stewards or the Police.


Working with the guidance of Staffordshire Police, measures are in place to conduct searches of people, bags and vehicles on entry to the event site. CCTV coverage, armed and uniformed Police officers and sniffer dogs will also form part of the security and searching operation.


In conjunction with the above, The Royal British Legion asks visitors to this event to bear in mind the following to help us:


  • Allow plenty of time for entry into the event site due to security checks/search procedures
  • Check the latest information regarding prohibited items and make sure you are not in possession of them
  • Where possible, please try not to bring any large items of luggage as there is no left luggage facility available on site. If a bag is required for your comfort, please try and bring a single-compartment bag that meets the size specification – this greatly assists in search and speed of entry. Wheeled bags are strongly discouraged and persons are limited to one bag per person.


Please note the restrictions on bag sizes and prohibited items (below) will be enforced.  The speed of entry to the event is decreased dramatically when multi-pocketed bags/backpacks are presented.


Any prohibited items inadvertently brought to the event, must be kept within your means of transport or disposed of in the bins provided.

Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited from the event (“prohibited Items”):


  • Any bag exceeding 40cm x 30cm x 30cm (16” x 12” x 12”)
  • Any item which may be interpreted as a potential weapon and/or compromise public safety, including sharp or pointed objects (e.g. knives, large corkscrews), ‘personal protection’ sprays and fireworks/flares
  • Large flags (over 60cm x 60cm (2’ x 2’), banners, rattles, klaxons or oversized hats;
  • Any objects or clothing bearing political statements
  • Spray paints or other items which could, in the opinion of the event, be used to sabotage or damage property
  • Drones or remote-control aircraft

Visitors in the possession of prohibited items may be refused entry or ejected from the event, or asked to surrender the prohibited item.

Any prohibited items which are surrendered as a condition of entry to the event shall be deemed to be surrendered irrevocably and voluntarily.  Any such items will be unable to be reclaimed and shall be disposed of by the event without any liability.

Conditions of entry

  • You must bring your e-ticket with you (printed or on your mobile device) for you and your guest.
  • A ticket is valid for one admission only. Removal of the stub or any alteration may invalidate the ticket.
  • Always check your tickets upon receipt and advise us of any errors. 
  • Tickets are individually named and not transferable. Entry will only be granted to the named ticket holder.
  • Ticket holders will need to bring with them matching photographic ID and e-ticket for access to the event. If ticket holders do not have access to photographic ID, they may bring with them 2 utility bills (showing there as proof of address)
  • For security reasons, bags may be searched as a condition of entry to the Arboretum
  • The Royal British Legion reserves the right to refuse admission.

Lost Property

Please report all lost property to a member of staff or a volunteer. All lost property will be taken to the National Memorial Arboretum Remembrance Centre for collection. Please speak to the Welcome Desk in Remembrance Centre for further assistance.

The Royal British Legion and The Arboretum accept no responsibility for any personal property brought to the venue.


Attendees are advised not to leave valuables in cars.

Media and Personal Media

Photography and filming will be taking place throughout the event by the Royal British Legion, National Memorial Arboretum and media present onsite. Photography and filming carried out at the event will be shared with the public to promote the event and marketing post event and may be shared with the media in the legitimate interests of the National Memorial Arboretum and the Royal British Legion.


Where a photograph is taken of a participant consent will be obtained for its use by the Royal British Legion. This consent may be withdrawn at any time by contacting us on


Please ensure all mobile telephones and recording devices are switched off during the commemorative event and we politely request that photographs are not taken.


  • Morning Coat, lounge suit, or jacket and trousers
  • Pantsuit
  • Smart day dress with hat (optional)
  • Full-sized medals
  • Regimental blazer, tie, and/or headwear
  • Flats or wide heels recommended


  • Royal Navy – No. 1B
  • Royal Marines – No. 1B Parade Lovats
  • Army – No. 2 Dress Ceremonial
  • Royal Air Force – No. 1 SD

Commemorative Event

  • Location: The Op Banner 50 Commemorative Ceremony will take place to the rear of the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum
  • Timings: Please be seated at the ceremony site by 13:30. The ceremony will commence at 14:00.
  • Seating: There will be seating provided for all guests. Seating is not pre-allocated.


There will be a hard standing accessible path through the ceremony site, and reserved areas within the arena for wheelchair and mobility scooter users. If you require any assistance, please speak to a member of staff or a volunteer at the event site.


Viewing: There will be large screens around the arena onto which the ceremony will be broadcast.

The Arboretum has a limited number of mobility scooters [£5.00] and wheelchairs [Free, donations appreciated] available to hire. To do so, please call the Arboretum directly on 01283 245 100. Please note that these are subject to availability and usually get booked well in advance, so please call to check availability and book.

Blue badge parking will be available at the Catton Hall Park and Ride and all shuttle buses are fully accessible and DDA compliant.


As a maturing landscape with many natural features, certain areas of the Arboretum may present challenges for those with special access requirements. Firm, level paths give good access to much of the site, however many memorials are accessible over grass and may present a challenge for some visitors. Working assistance dogs are allowed in all areas of the Arboretum.


Accessible toilets are available throughout the Arboretum, both inside and out on site, including the ceremony site.


Download the Arboretum Accessibility Guide.


Wreaths and Tributes

You will be welcome to lay a wreath or tribute at the Armed Forces Memorial after the main commemorative event. If you wish to lay a wreath during the ceremonies at other memorial you should contact the relevant association. Wreaths will be available for sale at the Arboretum though we suggest that your order a wreath beforehand and bring it with you on the day.


  • Toilets: There are toilets located at the Catton Hall Park and Ride, inside the National Memorial Arboretum Remembrance Centre and at the ceremony site. There are also single cubicles located across the Arboretum at the Millennium shelter, Shot at Dawn shelter and Christmas Truce shelter, as well as a single toilet inside the Far East Prisoners Of War building.


  • Refreshments: There will be a food and drink concession stand at the Catton Hall Park and Ride. The National Memorial Arboretum Restaurant will be open from 09:00 and there is also a Coffee Shop located on Heroes Square. There will be additional concession stands in and around the Ceremony site near the Armed Forces Memorial. You will be provided with a lunch voucher for one hot meal and soft drink (attached to your wristband) which can be used at any catering point, including the main restaurant.


There will be free water stations on site. To reduce single use plastic, we ask that you bring your own bottles so you can refill throughout the day.

What to bring

  • Photo ID for you and your guest (Passport or Driving Licence) – this must match the name on your ticket
  • Yours and your guest tickets
  • These joining instructions
  • Umbrella (if raining)
  • Weather appropriate shoes and clothing
  • Water bottle (free water available on site)

Arboretum Activities

During the day you may have an opportunity to take part in other activities at the National Memorial Arboretum. Please note some activities have an associated cost and limited availability so please visit the Welcome Desk in the Remembrance Centre to book.


Activity Time Location

Daily Act of Remembrance | Welcome Talk [Free]


10:50 Millennium Chapel

Arboretum Welcome Talk                             


11:30 Amphitheatre

Far East Prisoners of War Talk                     


12:00 FEPOW Building

Shot at Dawn Talk                                 

[£3.00 | 45 min]

12:30 Shot at Dawn Memorial

Guided Walk*                             
*Limited places, please book at Reception


11:30 Meet on Heroes Square

Undiscovered Arboretum Buggy Tour*
*Limited places, please book at Reception


Meet outside Aspects


Landscapes of Life Exhibition                          


All Day Gallery 1


Colin Davidson: Silent Testimony Exhibition           


All Day Gallery 2

SIX.SIX.FORTY.FOUR Exhibition [Free]                          


All Day Gallery 3


If you would like assistance in locating a particular memorial, plaque, tree, bench or other dedication on site, please visit the information desks in The Remembrance Centre. Guide books and Orientation Guides are also available to purchase from the Arboretum.


On Wednesday 14 August 2019, we will not be permitting dogs onsite, with the exception of working assistance dogs.


Accommodation can be found in the surrounding towns of Lichfield, Tamworth and Burton upon Trent. Further information can be found on the NMA website

Contact Details

If you have any questions about Op Banner, please get in touch with us:

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