Remembrance Sunday

This years Poignant Remembrance Sunday service took place on 11th Novemberand was Led by Members of the The Royal Family including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Prince  William the Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince Andrew – The Duke of York, HRH Prince Edward – The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal Princess Anne, Prince Michael of Kent and Field Marshal Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank. and observed by HRH the Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Countess of Wessex, However The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were unable to attend as they are in New Zealand on a Jubilee tour. The event included the traditional Laying of the Wreaths and March-past the Cenotaph War Memorial in Whitehall London finishing at Horseguards Parade.  This year nearly 10,000 people took part. When I was younger I used to be a member of the Scouts so I’ve taken part in numerous local Remembrance Sunday Parades myself.

Various other dignitaries also attending the event included Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Labour leader Ed Milliband,  Westminster Plaid Cymru group leader Elfyn Llwyd,  who was representing both Plaid Cymru and Scottish National Party, Former Prime Minister William Hague, who was Representing overseas territory, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Education Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Theresa May as well as Forty seven High Commissioners Representing the Commonwealth Leaders and fifteen Religious leaders including representatives of the Roman Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Zaoastrian and Hindu faiths and The President of the Royal British Legion also laid a wreath

There was a Brief service conducted by the Bishop of London, then at The first stroke of Big Ben at 11am the firing of a gun from Horse Guards Parade by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery marked the start of two minutes’ silence, which was followed by The Last Post, sounded by the Buglers of the Royal Marines. This was Followed by the National Anthem, other music was performed by Chapel Royal Choir School and the Massed Bands of the Black Watch and the Royal Marines, which included Rule Britannia, Heart of Oak (The Unofficial Anthem of the Royal Navy) and Nimrod from Sir Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” (Which always brings a lump to my throat).

Organisations taking part in the march-past the Cenotaph included
Royal navy association
Royal Airforce Association
Paratroop Regiment association
Royal Marines Association
Merchant Navy Association
Fleet air arm association
Gurkhas Association
Burma Star association
The Chinditz
Royal Mechanical Engineers association
Royal Northumberland fusiliers association
Royal Army Corps
656 squadron Association
Home Guard
Royal Engineers Association
Army Air Corps
Metropolitan Police
Royal Pioneer Corps
Reconnaissance corps
Maritime Air Association
Bomber Command
Royal Observer Corps
Falklands Association
Sappers Association
War Widows Association
Irish Defence Association
Royal Marine Commandos association
The Salvation Army
NAAFI Association
National Association of Retired Police Officers
St Johns Ambulance
Commonwealth Graves Association

Elesewhere The Archbishop of Canturbury designate, the Right Revd. Justin Welbey, Bishop of Durham, led a remembrance service at St. Gabriel’s Church in Sunderland and at The National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, there was an outdoor service of remembrance. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester represented the Queen at the service,The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO laid a wreath at The Armed Forces Memorial during the service which was attended by more than 3,000 people. The arboretum’s focal point, the national Armed Forces Memorial, is designed so that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a shaft of sunlight dissects its inner and outer walls, falling on a bronze wreath sculpture.The Portland stone memorial is the nation’s tribute to more than 16,000 servicemen and women who have died on duty, or as a result of terrorism, since 1948.

In Scotland, First Minister Alex Salmond joined the Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of Edinburgh Donald Wilson, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, military leaders, veterans and serving personnel at the Stone of Remembrance at the City Chambers in Edinburgh.He observed a two minute silence and laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Scotland. The First Minister then attended a Service of Remembrance at St Giles Cathedral.In Northern Ireland Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid a wreath on behalf of the Irish Government, at the cenotaph in Enniskillen, during a commemoration ceremony on the 25th anniversary of the IRA Poppy Day bomb attack.

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