Armed Forces join The Queen as she leads the UK in Remembrance
14 Nov 2016 01:45 PM
The nation fell silent as Her Majesty led the traditional service at the Cenotaph in London.
Members of the Armed Forces joined the national Service of Remembrance in Whitehall yesterday. The Queen led the nation in a nationally observed two-minute silence, and then was the first to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph to commemorate those Servicemen and women killed in all conflicts since the First World War.
The Prime Minister also attended the service along with Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, and other members of the Cabinet, former Prime Ministers, The Chiefs of Staff and over 700 regular and reserve personnel.
Accompanying the Queen were members of the Royal Family including The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Henry of Wales, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal and The Duke of Kent.
Soldiers from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a round from nearby Horse Guards Parade which echoed around Whitehall to signal the start and the end of the two minutes’ silence.
As the artillery noise faded, buglers of the Royal Marines sounded the poignant Last Post, which traditionally signalled the end of a soldier’s day.
Following the ceremony thousands of veterans from the Second World War and more recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, marched past the Cenotaph.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said yesterday:
As the clock strikes 11 today, it’s as important as ever to reflect on the sacrifices of those who gave their lives, and those who continue to defend us today.
This year we have commemorated the 100th anniversary of Battle of Jutland as well as the vast sacrifice on the fields of the Somme – where more than 57,000 British soldiers lost their lives on the first day of fighting alone.
We must also remember our heroes from more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tomorrow, we should reflect on the unparalleled contribution made by the men and women of our armed forces.
Thousands of them deployed now, on 28 operations in more than 25 countries. Their support continues to make us safer and more secure at home.
The Armed Forces also marked Remembrance Sunday wherever they were in the world, from the Mediterranean where the Navy is assisting in migrant rescue operations to Afghanistan, where the UK is helping to support Afghanistan’s future by helping to train Afghan soldiers.
This year has been particularly poignant for Remembrance with large numbers of Service personnel taking part in major commemorations, such as the centenaries of the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme.