2011 Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph


Her Majesty the Queen leads the nation's Remembrance Sunday commemorations. Dignitaries from around the Commonwealth gather to remember those who have died serving their country.

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DAVID DIMBLEBY: It's striking how a simple ceremony like that which


takes place here this morning in the heart of London can exert such


a hold on the nation's imagination. For over 90 years the Armistice of


November 11th, 1918, which ended the First World War, has been


The Queen will come here today to observe two minutes' silence at


11.00, along with members of the Armed Forces, veterans of many


conflicts and members of the public. Not just here, but all across


Britain and around the world people will be gathering at War Memorials,


perhaps contemplating the enormity of the sacrifices made in two World


Wars, or perhaps thinking of those still dying today in Afghanistan.


Nearly 400 British servicemen and women have been killed, over 500


seriously injured, in the ten years of our operations there. Those on


parade will often have more intimate memories of friends, of


comrades who fought alongside them. Already on either side of the


Cenotaph the detachments representing the Armed Forces and


the other services who will going to be on parade here, they are


assembling. The Household Cavalry are here, the Life Guards. Among


them Corporal of Horse Ben Lewis who recently recovered from


injuries that he suffered last year in Afghanistan when his Scimitar


armoured vehicle was hit by an IED. The Royal Marines are here. C-


Company of 40 Commando, known as 'Charlie' Company. They are


commanded by Major Chris Hall who was part of 40 Commando's first


tour of duty in Afghanistan ten years ago. Along with other members


of the unit on parade here, he's returned on further tours. 17


members of 40 Commando have been killed in recent years. Also here


the familiar figures of the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.


Seven of them have died in Afghanistan, the most recent only


last month. All these men on parade here today from the Gurkhas are


going to be going back to Afghanistan next year. Then there's


the 1st Battalion The Coldstream Guards. During the battalion's


second tour of Afghanistan, they returned last May, five soldiers


were killed, 47 were wounded. Near here, down by Westminster Abbey


every year, a Field of Remembrance is laid out, rows and rows of


crosses are planted in memory of the dead. There I met two of these


Coldstream Guardsmen, themselves What will you be thinking of?


will be giving a few thoughts to those we lost. The company group


lost five killed in action and a number of seriously wounded as well.


I will be thinking about their families. I never really lost


anyone close to me until I joined the Army. It was quite hard to deal


with. Yeah, it does happen. You've got to deal with it in your own way.


Thoughts of the lads we lost, the memories that we've got of them,


that is what I will be thinking about on the Parade. Soldiers will


think back on their most recent operational experience. As I stand,


you will see all of the servicemen there with their minds back into


which ever conflict it is they have been party to. Be it a World War,


be it the Falkland Islands, be it Northern Ireland, Iraq, wherever.


All of our minds will be back where we've come from. Probably ten years


ago, Remembrance Sunday was probably more about remembering


grandfathers and great uncles and fathers that had trod in our


footsteps before. For a lot of us, it is a far more personal


experience. We will be thinking about friends we have lost along


the way. So at one moment in the year, for people to have the


opportunity to stop, to think, to remember those people who have


given so much to enable this way of life, that is terribly important.


This is the first time I have been here. It was good to see all these


people remembering the people that we lost. Maybe they haven't lost


anyone. It's good that people show an interest and it is a good


feeling to know that there's people DAVID DIMBLEBY: It's a beautiful


morning here in London and a good thing, too, for the thousands of


veterans who have assembled here, many of them now are veterans of


the Second World War of course, so they are quite elderly. No-one left


from World War One. There they are, the familiar figures, the bright


Red Caps of the Military Police. People who assemble each year with


old comrades under the auspices of the Royal British Legion, but in


groups either by regiment, or by ship, or by which part of the Royal


Air Force they were in - Bomber Command, or Fighter Command -


people representing charities, people representing places they


have been to, battles they have thought, not just in the Second


World War, but in all the wars since - Korea, veterans from there,


from the Falklands, Afghanistan and Iraq. They treat this as a great


moment, not just to remember the dead, but also to re-join friends


who they have fought with. Among the veterans, Ron Smith, who was a


veteran of D-Day where he was in a landing craft that carried six


tanks and it was hit just as it came up the beach killing four men.


He's talking now to Sophie Raworth. SOPHIE RAWORTH: You have been part


of the march-past many times now, do you know how many times you have


been here? 15 or 16 times. I will keep coming here. The reason I come


here is because I have seen people die in the Second World War. Two of


them I knew very well. So I will keep coming back here. It becomes I


suppose a habit because you say after a time... It is terribly


humbling being here? Yes, I find that. I know when I finish I can


hardly talk. There's a lump in my throat. That sort of thing. What is


it that brings you back year after year like this? Well, it's exactly


that. I still go to Portsmouth to our local meeting and we still do


various ceremonies et cetera, when it is called upon. And I just like


being here with all these chaps. you remember anyone in particular


when you are walking past the Cenotaph? You are laying a wreath


this year? Yes, a chap named Steven Wright. I knew him very well. He


was taken to another landing craft as a crew member and he died, the


landing craft was sunk on D-Day. There's so much support here, isn't


there? Yes. I'm surprised it never seems to diminish. I suppose quite


a lot of - I'm 87, nearly 87, and quite a lot of them still come here,


you know. I don't know whether I will make it next year. I'm not


quite sure about that. I'm here with Richie Puttock, you served


with the Royal Marines. There are so many people from so many


different generations who have had very different experiences but are


united in many ways? That is very true. You can see service people


that are still serving, going all the way back 60 or 70 years ago.


There is that shared theme of hardship and experiences and things


like that. I have only just met Ron and he informs me one of his


favourite pastimes was getting the Royal Marines wet. There's already


that banter which bonds us altogether. Huge applause as more


of the veterans line up here. Huge respect for all of the people here


today? It is very humbling for anyone that's served in the Armed


Forces to see the public appreciation and the respect and


admiration the Armed Forces of this country are held in. Thank you very


much, both of you. DAVID DIMBLEBY: One of the lead


columns there, St dunstan's who look after and try to rehabilitate


those blinded in war. You can see the men carrying their white sticks.


We are going to have of course the traditional music from the Massed


Bands here today, the Massed Bands of the Guards Division and the


Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. They will


be playing the music. It's both stirring and sad and that will lead


us up to 11.00. The Pipes and Drums have a military role. They are not


just musicians. They also serve as armoured infantrymen. Last year,


one of their drummers, Lance Corporal Stephen Monkhouse was


killed. The bandsmen and women can also volunteer for operations.


Somewhere down there is a young pick low player, who is just back


from Kabul where she was working as a driver in the infantry battle


school. They prepare to play the music. They are under the baton of


Colonel Graham Jones this morning, the Senior Director of Music. They


MUSIC: "Rule Britannia" MUSIC: "Rule Britannia"


MUSIC: "Heart Of Oak" DAVID DIMBLEBY: The Massed Banded


now play Heart of Oak, the Minstrel Boy and Men of Harlech. Among those


who are on parade this morning, the Korean veterans. In 1950, that was


five years after the end of the Second World War, the so-called


Cold War between communism and the West turned hot as fighting broke


out in Korea between the Chinese and Western forces, fighting under


the banner of the United Nations. Tony Eagles and Sam Mercer were in


their 20s when they were sent to fight in this country that they had


scarcely heard of and now, 60 years later, they came back to their


regimental chapel in Gloucester Cathedral where friends and


comrades who never returned are I can see those people now,


as they were then, There's not one of them in the


And I knew all those people Eric Brown. Henry and I were a team


And of course the North Koreans gothold of him and, um, tortured him.


Tortured him to death


because he wouldn't tell them what they wanted to know.




The glosters


The glosters dug


The glosters dug in on the hillsides overlooking the Imjin


River, facing 10,000 Chinese troops, There were not enough United


Nations soldiers to stand across the Korean peninsula. The Chinese


had that advantage, but we did not. It seemed like dozens of them and


then you keep shooting. Most of them will fall down. Some just go


away. Then others would come again and take their place. You couldn't


shoot fast enough. The Glosters held out for three days. By then


they were surrounded and their ammunition had run out. After the


battle, only 63 of them had escaped. The rest of the battalion were dead


or captured. The battle at Imjin River remains the costliest


engagement since 1914. Sometimes it makes you think perhaps they were


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The pipes and drums with the sky boat song. Now the Massed Bands


And the band will now play Isle of Beauty.


We saw 48 commando Royal Marine on parade a moment ago. Last year Paul


warren a 23-year-old serving with 40 Commando was fatally injured in


Afghanistan. But left his family in Lancashire bereft.


He was just like every other boy. Always getting into mischief.


Accident prone, always in the wrong place, doing the wrong things,


always enjoying himself and and always with a smile on his face. I


could never tell him off. I think he was around eight years old when


he said, "I would like to be a soldier." He didn't know what part


of the military he wanted to be in, but he just knew that's what he


wanted to be. Paul joined the Marines in 2006. Getting his green


beret was outstanding. As a family, we were just so proud, not just me


and his mum, his brothers, cousins, uncles, a lot of them came to the


passing out and we were so proud, but we knew where he would be going


and that was Afghanistan. When he came back the first time we


thought, "That's it. It is out of his system. He has done what he was


going to do. He will go and do other things within the Marines and


." He decided that he would like to go back. It was on the 21 21st June,


Monday, a day after Father's Day and Paul had just rang us up on the


Sunday and he sounded really happy. Monday me and my wife was just sat


on the see tee. I just happened to look out and I saw a gentleman with


a black band and I thought, "That is strange. Why is there a priest


getting out of a car on the estate?" I just automatically


thought, "No." I just said no to myself. As I said no, two Marines


got out of the vehicle. Before they said anything, I knew Paul had been


killed. The base was attacked and IEDs were


thrown over the wall and Paul was walking towards them. One exploded


in the air right next to him and the helicopter came and took him on


board, but we were told he died on the helicopter before they landed


in in Bastion. I feel him here. He wouldn't like what we are doing. He


wouldn't like all the attention. He wouldn't like the flowers on his


grave. He would just like to be under the radar all the time and


that was Paul. His green beret is one of those


cherished things that I have because that's what he was wearing


when he was out there and I just get a feeling if we have got it, we


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have definitely got part of Paul Asted pipes play the lament, The


Flowers of the Forest. A moment to reflect those who have


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The Massed Bands will now play one of the most haunting of melodies,


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MUSIC: "Nimrod" from the Enigma And now when Didos Lament, remember


MUSIC: "Dido's Lament" The sight of the many cemeteries


around the world with row upon row of tomb stones is the most poignant


reminder along with war memorials in towns and villages of the price


we pay for war. These words were written by a poet


contemplating the names on the memorial in his local park. "we are


your silent neighbours. Those who you may read about, but never see.


The war dead listed in the park upon the granite memorial, but now


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Led by the Crossbearer, the children and gentlemen of the


Chapel Royal, come out to take their place by the Cenotaph and the


Bishop of London, Dean of the Chapel Royal. In front of him the


Sub-Dean, William Scot and smartly out of the Foreign and Commonwealth


Office, the Major General commanding the Household Division


in London and the Chief-of-Staff, Colonel Matthewson. And they go


down Whitehall towards the veterans where they are standing waiting for


the march past later and next the Prime Minister, David Cameron leads


the political group out, Nick Clegg on his right, the Leader of the


Opposition, Ed Miliband, behind you They turn to their left and line up


with their wreaths. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office are there.


Gordon Brown there. Other Ministers. The Speaker of the House of Commons


among them. Tony Blair among the former Prime Ministers with Gordon


Brown and Sir John Major. Then the Chiefs of Staff, General Sir David


Richards, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of


the Air Staff, and the Merchant and Civilian Services. They are


followed by nearly 50 High Commissioners of various


Commonwealth countries ranging from the very largest countries -


Australia and India and Canada - to the smallest - Fiji and Tonga and


Malta. Most of them took a part, some of them a very large part, in


both World Wars and, indeed, in the wars since then. They line up on


three sides of the Cenotaph and will be followed by the Religious


Denominations. Though this Cenotaph memorial is deliberately not a


religious memorial, a large number of religious groups come here.


Apart from the Church of England, there are representatives of the


Roman Catholic faith, Hindu, Greek Orthodox, and other Churches, the


United Reform Church and the On the balcony, members of the


Royal Family watch. On the left there, the Duchess of Cornwall and


on the right, the new Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, who,


this year, married Prince William, the Countess of Wessex, married to


Prince Edward beside her. Timney Lawrence, married to the Princess


Royal. They stand here and on ser - - Timothy Laurence, married to the


Princess Royal. They stand here and There are now two minutes, or just


a little less, until 11.00 and the two-minute silence. The Parade is


brought to attention and we await the arrival of the Royal Party led


The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Princess Royal,


the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex are there and the Duke of


Kent. They take up a special position right in front of the


Cenotaph from where, after the two- minute silence, they will lay their


As 11.00 strikes, the Royal Horse Artillery will fire one round of a


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gun at the beginning and then at DAVID DIMBLEBY: Her Majesty the


Queen will now lay her wreath, the first of those laid by the Royal


And the Duke of Edinburgh next on his 90th birthday this year. He was


given the title Lord High Admiral. 70 years ago, the Duke was


mentioned for an action aboard HMS Valiant off the Greek coast. He's


followed by the Prince of Wales in the uniform of a General in the


Army. He's been much involved this year in visiting injured soldiers


and acting as a patron of a number of service charities as well. His


wreath with the Prince of Wales' Next Prince William, the Duke of


Cambridge. A Search and Rescue Pilot in Wales at the moment. Due


to go to the Falklands next year on And he is followed by Prince Andrew,


the Duke of York, who was a helicopter pilot who served in the


Falklands War. Is Colonel-in-Chief And the Earl of Wessex, in the


uniform of an Honorary Colonel of He'll be followed by the Princess


Royal in the uniform of a Vice Admiral. She's Colonel-in-Chief of


a number of regiments. Last month, she was at the ceremony where


Wootton Bassett was renamed Royal Last in the Royal Party, the Duke


of Kent, who visited Afghanistan this September. He served 21 years


in the Royal Scots Greys. His father was killed in the Second


COMMANDER OF FOOT GUARDS: Parade, stand at least!


The band now plays the Funeral March. The politicians will take


their turn laying wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph led by the


The Deputy Prime Minister, the leader of the Liberal Democrats,


The Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party, Ed


From Northern Ireland, the Deputy Leader of the Democratic Unionist


And next representing the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru at


Finally, of the political parties, the Secretary of State for Foreign


and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague. He lays a special wreath on


behalf of the overseas territories made from exotic flowers. It is


And next the turn of the high of the High Commissioners. Starting


with the old senior members of the Commonwealth, Canada, Australia,


New Zealand, South Africa, India and Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Ghana


and Malaysia are there. Canada fought in World War I and II of


course, on D-Day. Australians who are active in Afghanistan now, and


lost over 60,000 in World War II, suffered the highest casualty rate


of any nation in World War I. The Indian subcontinent sent 2.5


million volunteers to World War II so those wreaths are laid on behalf


of all those countries. And then followed from the south-


side, by the high commercialers of Nigeria and Cyprus, Sierra Leone


and Tanzania, Jamaica, Trinidad & In the next group, Malta, the


George Cross island island awarded the Gorge Cross for its courage


during the second world, The Gambia, Singapore where many people here


were held prisoners after the fall of that great city by the Japanese,


Guyana, Botswana and Barbados and And now now swatsy land, --


Swaziland, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Seychelles


and the little island of St St As the last group prepares to come


forward, there is one country missing, the citizens fought in


both world wars and that is Zimbabwe. Now expelled from the


Commonwealth. Rhodesia, many people here will remember the service they


gave in the second world, many in the Royal Air Force. Belize, the


Mall leaves and St Christopher, Namibia, Cameroon, Mozambique and


Rwanda. And once the High Commissioners


have returned to their place, it is the turn of the Service Chiefs, not


the Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Richards, but Admiral Mark


Stanhope and Air Chief Marshal, Sir And they are followed by


representatives of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets, the Air


Transport Auxiliary service and the civilian services. David Hill from


the navy and Sir Denis O'Connor, a Chief Inspector of Constabulary for


the civilian services. And next, the short service led by


O Almighty God, that we who here do honour


in the service of their country may be so inspired by the spirit of


that, forgetting all selfish and unworthy motives,


we may live only to Thy glory and to the service of mankind,


through Jesus Christ our Lord,




# O God, our help in ages past


# Our hope for years to come


# Our shelter from the stormy blast


# And our eternal home


# Under the shadow of thy throne


# Thy saints have dwelt secure


# Sufficient is thine arm alone


# And our defence is sure


# Before the hills in order stood


# Or earth received her frame


# From everlasting thou art God


# To endless years the same


# A thousand ages in thy sight


# Are like an evening gone


# Short as the watch that ends the night


# Before the rising sun


# O God, our help in ages past


# Our hope for years to come


# Be thou our guard while troubles last


# And our eternal home. #


Teach us good Lord to serve thee as thou deservest;


to give and not to count the cost;


to fight & not to heed the wounds'


to toil and not to seek for rest;


to labour and not ask for any reward,


save that knowing that we will do thy will


through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.


Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name,


Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done


On earth as it is in heaven.


Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our trespasses


As we forgive those who trespass against us.


And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


For Thine is the kingdom And the power and the glory,


For ever and ever.




Unto God's gracious mercy and protection we commit you.


The Lord bless you and keep you,


the Lord make his face to shine upon you


and be gracious unto you,


the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you,


and give you His peace this day and always.




MUSIC: "The Rouse"


# God save our gracious Queen


# Long live our noble Queen


# God save the Queen


# Send her victorious


# Happy and glorious


# Long to reign over us


# God save the Queen. #




The service


The service over,


The service over, the Royal party led once again by The Queen leaves


Whitehall. Prince Charles There among them,


will go through to Horse Guards and take a salute of those veterans who


are taking part in the march past down Whitehall that goes round to


Horse Guards afterwards so they go past the Cenotaph and then he takes


their salute. Now the clergy leave. The ten


children of the Chapel Royal dressed in the gold and scarlet


State coats which were designed at the time of the restoration of the


monarchy under Charles II, a choir that dates back much further than


that, a 1,000 years or so when it used to attend on the monarch. They


are They are all boy chor ris terse who have -- chor ris terse who have


scholarships at the City of London school as well as singing in his


choir. The brass cross with the red


poppies which has been at a service briefly in the Chapel Royal at St


James's Palace before it came out here to Whitehall this morning. The


politicians leave next, the Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband


and other members of the Cabinet. The Speaker of the House of Commons


is there. Tony Blair and Sir John Major, Gordon Brown, Mrs Thatcher


or Lady Thatcher not here this year. Representatives of the House of


Lords, the Speaker of the House of Lords, the Leader of the


Conservatives in the House of Lords, Lord Strathclyde on the right and


at the back, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. So as Whitehall is


gradually cleared of the dignitaries as you might say,


attention will turn to the seven or ten thousand or so veterans who are


waiting to march past the Cenotaph which is the key part of this


second half of today's ceremonial. It has been extraordinary, just


standing here, being here. The atmosphere, it is almost


indescribable, isn't it? It is. Everybody here comes from a common


background. They have gone through things, they have experienced the


same stuff. Everybody here comes for a number of reasons. There is


the national memory aspect of it where we remember and pay tribute


to those that have gone before us and recognise the sacrifices they


have made. Also, we have either lost friends or colleagues over the


years and you come to remember those personal aspects as well.


Suddenly, the mood is changing. You have been here three times before.


What does it mean to you to be here? I think it's something that


unless you have served in the Forces, it is difficult to


understand. You have a common bond between you, no matter what cap,


badge or regiment you come from. The ability to get together, tell


old stories, and to remember those that can't be here, it means a lot.


We must remember people who have been very badly injured. You were


awarded the George Cross following an incident in Iraq in 2005 in


which you were severely injured? That's right. I was fortunate to be


working out of Baghdad at the time. My job was part of a CSI-type job


on bomb incidents. During the follow-up to one incident, there


were secondary devices around and I trod on a pressure pad and was


severely injured. The challenge going forward is going to be


continuing the huge amount of support that the people get now,


the huge amounts of money being raised - hopefully �40 million this


year by the Royal British Legion? Absolutely. The national response


to the last ten years of operations, and the fact the emphasis has


shifted, it's gone to backing the guys rather than the political


DAVID DIMBLEBY: Trumpet Voluntary is played as the President of the


British Legion approaches the Cenotaph with his wreath layed on


behalf of the Royal British Legion. He served in Bosnia, he's served in


the Gulf War. He was awarded a After Him come representatives of


London Transport, the Commonwealth Ex-Services League, the Royal Naval


Association and the Royal British Legion Scotland and the Royal


British Legion Women's Section. They will bring their wreaths down.


And lay them at the Cenotaph. After these wreaths have been laid,


there's a pause before the march- past of the veterans begins. Bob


Lawrence for London Transport. London Transport, which George V


agreed should parade here at the Cenotaph because in the First World


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War they had driven buses to take In a moment, the march-past will


begin, but before it does, a thought of what veterans here may


be thinking of. We heard of those remembering other operations like


Korea. But some of here will be remembering something different. In


1941, when the Soviet Union joined the Western Allies in the war


against Nazi Germany and Russia was desperate for fuel and ammunition


and for raw materials and food. But with Europe occupied, the only way


to get the goods to northern Russia was convoys of ships steering a


treacherous course through the icy waters of the Arctic. A voyage that


Winston Churchill described as "the I was brought up by the sea,


go and sit there I wanted to know


I was 16 when I joined the Merchant Navy, but I did


precisely the same duties as the older members of the crew.


We did shifts, four on, four off.


You would do two hours at the wheel,


one hour on lookout, one hour on standby, for the whole voyage.








DAVID DIMBLEBY: Local children used And the convoys coming in the loch


We never thought of them as going We thought it was a great game


We never thought of them to war. There was a lot of them


though afterwards we realised The first thing I was warned about


was never to go on deck without my protective gloves.


They said, "For heaven's sake, never- touch any part of the metal,


"because your hand will stick and it'll tear the skin off you."


So you're in dire straits then,


you're pretty useless for the rest of the trip.


When the convoy was on, we had a lot of snow on the way up.


Really blizzard, all the way upthere, and the ship was tossed about.


You didn't know where you were half the time.


We saw no action until we were nearing Murmansk,


and two ships ahead of us were sunk.


A Royal Navy ship came dashing round


to try and make contact with the sub- and drop depth charges,


and most unfortunately, the Germans put a torpedo into her.


The ship went on fire, it broke at the bow.


The bow went down within about five or six minutes,


and we could hear people scream.


You could see the guys in the water,- which was freezing,


grabbing ropes, but their hands wouldn't hold it


because the ropes were covered in ice.


So your hands would just slip, and they would slip underwater again.


We were given the order,


then, to go full speed ahead and get into Murmansk, to get away from it.


What you wanted to do was help them,- but you couldn't help them,


because if you'd stopped at all...


It would have been against orders,


but had you stopped, you'd have got a torpedo too.


So you had to keep going.


That ship carried 225 of a crew, and 158 died.


And as I'm talking to you now, I can see it all again.


"In memory of our shipmates who sailed from Loch Ewe during WWII.


"They lost their lives in the bitter-Arctic sea battles to North Russia


"and never returned to this tranquil anchorage."


"We will always, always remember them."


"We will always, always remember them."


that never came back. DAVID


that never came back. DAVID DIMBLEBY:




DIMBLEBY: Between 1941


DIMBLEBY: Between 1941 and


DIMBLEBY: Between 1941 and 1945, the Arctic convoys transported four


million tonnes of supplies to the Soviet Union, more than 100 ships


were lost, nearly 3,000 sailors lost their lives. With Sophie is


Commander Ed Grenfell who served with the Royal Navy on the Russian


convoys. You were also on many convoys, four separate convoys?


That's correct. You took extraordinary risks like so many


others? Yes, they were dangerous, no doubt about it. I served in the


Mediterranean on the Malta convoys, on the Atlantic convoys. The most


dreadful convoys of all were the convoys through the Arctic to north


Russia. Describe what it was like on board? Well, if you were


escorting a convoy in the Mediterranean, the fear was that


the ship might be sunk and if that happened, the water was warm enough


and you knew you would be picked up. You knew in the Arctic, you dreaded


it in fact, if the ship was sunk, you had five minutes to live.


happened to you, didn't it? Yes. My ship was hit first of all by one


bomb and we started to sink. Then five more dive bombers came down


and they hit us with another four bombs. One went into the


ammunitions store and the ship just blew up. I sailed through the air,


I can remember it so well, and then I was deep down in the Arctic Ocean


and it was bitterly cold. I was about ten minutes swimming around


and then I managed to get myself on to a wreck of an upturned lifeboat.


I was another ten minutes there before I was rescued. Extraordinary.


I'm going to talk to Edna Brunt, who has a fascinating tale to tell


about your tile during the Second World War. You were a mechanic?


a flight mechanic. You had to go up in the bombers? Yes. I had to test


our work. It was quite frightening. What was it like being inside the


bomber? They put me in the rear gunners at first and I didn't like


it. I had to lay beside the pilot, who was Polish. He started to show


off because I was beside him. Our Corporal had to tell him off. Yeah,


it was, it was - well, frightening. But it was interesting. This is the


first time you have taken part in the march-past. Important for you


and important to remember the work that women did, so many women did


during the war? Yes, it is. I am so proud to be in this march. Well, I


will let you go. Thank you both DAVID DIMBLEBY: That is that black


memorial, a newer one than the Cenotaph. Two women at war, which


Sophie was talking about. We are now reaching the beginning of the


march-past which is led by the Board of Trustees of the Royal


British Legion. And a band before them. As, if you have seen this


before, you will remember this is a great mixture. Every year,


different people lead off. They are applauded as they go by other


members. The range is quite extraordinary. Even now, there are


new groups this year joining in. The Fellowship of the Services


leads off this year. It has that honour. Formed in the trenches in


1916 for people who had no work or were too disabled to earn a living.


They have 4,000 members and they are followed by the Burma Star


Association who were still fighting in Burma after the victory in


Europe had been declared. They called themselves "the forgotten


army". The Far East Prisoners of War Association goes through and


the Aden Veterans Association. The 1st Army Association who landed in


Algeria who fought behind the German and Italian forces. And then


the Queen's Bodyguard of The Yeoman of The Guard. Their wreath-bearer


was in the Welsh Guard. Popski's Private Army. And the Normandy


Veterans Association. They took part in the D-Day landings. The


British Korean Veterans Association. The 60th an verse of the battle of


Imjin River. There's a large contingent from the British Korean


The Malaya and Borneo Vetians association. Given permission to


wear a model awarded by their Government. 100,000 British


servicemen, many of the the national servicemen were involved


The Italy Star Association. People who served in Italy between 1943


and 1945,50,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers died in Italy.


It is followed by the Monte Cassino Society, one of the key battles of


the taking of Italy or the recovery of Italy which went on between


January and June in 1944. The gallantry medallists league, led by


Major Alan, decorated in Northern Well, he would normally have been


in the parade, I think, but there he is watching, a royal hospital


Chelsea Pensioner. The British limbless ex-servicemen's men.


Behind them the ex-services wheelchair sports association. Some


of whom are hoping to take part in the Paralympics next year.


And they are in training. They were formed in 1987.


The royal Royal Hospital, Chelsea follows them led by Colonel Baker,


joined as Captain of inva lids as it is called, the Chelsea


Pensioners who give up their army pension to live in the hospital


which is is run along military lines, it is like being in a


barracks, but a friendly atmosphere and of course, they are hugely


admired and applauded wherever they And an important group behind them,


the Combat Stress as it is called who try to look after people who


have problems resulting from the This is a courageous attempt to try


and deal with and take seriously the issue of Combat Stress.


And the first column has gone past and we will have a second column


with the various Guards Regiments, but let's join Sophie Raworth again


as the columns go past. We are in the thick of it in Whitehall, I'm


with Richie Puttock. It is Extraordinary, the atmosphere here,


isn't it? We have the solemn and the very dignified service and


there is a noticeable change of tone now the veterans and the other


organisations are starting to march. It is much lighter and it has


lifted and you can feel the pride with the people who are marching


Arthe respect from the members of the public as they are applauding.


It is humbling to be here. It is humbling to watch these people,


young and old, walking past the Cenotaph? As Peter Norton said


earlier, it is that shared experience that bonds everyone


together that's marching today and the members of the public who come


to see them to pay their respects. And that's an important point,


isn't it? Rounds of applause you can hear it all the time and a lot


of public have turned out, who have been here since early this morning


to show their support to these former servicemen and women? It is


important to the people that have srved and -- served and I guess


because these people have been here for so long, it is hugely important


to them as well. It is fantastic to see the support that people are


showing and long may it continue. What about for the people who are


still serving? What does this show of support mean to them? I believe


it shows them that the work they do is very valued and sometimes when


you are a long way away from home, it can be easy to forget that the


general public at home are behind the Armed Forces 100% and I believe


that this shows the people that are still serving that they are


supported, they are backed and they are very well respected.


You may have seen the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, wearing


red and white roses which they did when they were prisoners of war in


Korea in 1951. They made them of paper and now it is something they


proudly wear. We go on, the Green How wards and the chess the


Cheshire Regiment Association. The red and white berets of the


The parachute Regimental Association in their maroon berets.


There is a large contingent here. Eight parachute members have died


since last Remembrance Sunday. The first big raids by the parachute


raids, Italy, Sicily, North Africa. The landings in Normandy.


They were not surprisingly named by the German Army as the Red Devils.


The Royal Scots Regimental Association. The General placed his


wreath on the Cenotaph earlier on. The The Black Watch Association. 25


battalions of the of the Black Watch served in World War I. They


got battles honours in the Somme and then in the in the Second World


War were famous for the break out wa out where their pipe major


played for almost 22 miles under fire and the Golden Highlanders.


There among them carrying the wreath, The Queen Mother's former


piper. And the garden is growing, or the


Field of Remembrance perhaps we should call it at the front of the


Cenotaph. The Army Catering Corps association,


still feeding troops in Afghanistan. Created in 1941 when they realised


that the food provided by individual regiments was not


adequate and you needed a proper part of the Army or special service


to do this and the Royal Pioneers follow them and Armed Labour Force,


whose job it was to guard prisoners and move stores and make roads and


airfields. In Afghanistan, they have 600


engineers out there at any one time. There is a father and son marching


here with 50 years service service between them. They were formed in


1942 and one of their first major operations was at the Battle of


Alamein. The Queen Alexandra's Royal Nursing


Corps, founded back in 190 2, but still working and working at bases


in Afghanistan. And the head of the column is now


now reaching Horse Guards. This is where we are now because the march-


past, as I said, doesn't end at the Cenotaph, it goes down the bottom


of Whitehall and comes out where The Prince of Wales is taking the


salute. By the way if you want to watch that part of the


commemoration this year, for the very first after this programme


ends, you can, if you're watching digitally, push the Red Button and


see the remainder of the march-past. The Prince of Wales there taking


the salute on Horse Guards. And back here in Whitehall, the


Ghurkha Brigade Association. 200,000 Ghurkhas fought in the two


world wars and there is still huge competition in Nepal. 28,000 people


applied for 200 jobs each year. Famous, of course, because they


have the slogan, "Better to die than be a coward." They terrify the


enknee with their 18 inch weapon, the curved knife.


The British Ghurkha Welfare Society, who look after them, the Ghurkhas,


not those who come to Britain, where many of them have suffered


hardship, but those who remain in There are a few people more admired


and braver than those who have to dispose of the IEDs and these are


the association of ammunition technicians, clearly with some


children of fathers who have been killed in this work in Afghanistan.


Some of the most dangerous work there is. They are part of the


Royal Logistic Corps. A mother and son who we talked to


last year, I think, during this Cenotaph ceremonial.


The the Royal Army Association. In 1917, they were recruited into the


Army for the first time during the First World War.


They are now disbanded. They join the Army directly and the 656


Squadron Association, the Army's first operational Apache attack


helicopter unit which Prince Harry, of course, is working with at the


moment. It has seen three tours in Helmand province. They were


deployed also in the Falklands and in the Second World War served in


India and Burma and Malaya. With their armbands behind the Home


Guard Association, the 1.5 million who volunteered to serve in the


Home Guard in the event of a German The Army Air Corps Association,


these people were crucial on D-Day because they were the people who


landed the gliders in Normandy and allowed men to go into battle just


20 yards from Peg Pegasus Bridge DAVID DIMBLEBY: Now the Royal Air


Forces Association. They maintain huge numbers in Afghanistan as part


of the NATO operation this year to protect the civilian population of


Libya. This is a charity, incidentally. They look after


members of the Royal Air Force. Claims to be the largest single Ex-


Services' Association. The RAF Regiment Association follows them.


They distinguished themselves in Burma. The RAF Regiment are the


military force of the Royal Air military force of the Royal Air


Force. The 7 Squadron Association of Bomber Command, which today


operates Chinook helicopters. It is the oldest Bomber Squadron. In the


Second World War, they were Second World War, they were


equipped with the Stirling. Sophie? I'm here with Richie Puttock from


the Royal Marines Association. It is striking how many charities are


represented here this year? Yes, there has been a reinvigoration of


pride in recent years in belonging to a service charity, or regimental


association. A lot of that is due to the public support that the


forces now have. You know how important all those charities are


because you work first-hand with injured servicemen and families who


have lost people? Absolutely. It is not just about the money. The


charity that I work for, its remit has not changed in the 65 years


that it has existed. It is to support former Royal Marines,


serving Royal Marines and their families for a lifetime. Once a


Marine always a Marine. For all of the service charities, they face


challenges in the years ahead. With the support we have now, with the


public, we will get there. A huge amount of support here today. Thank


DAVID DIMBLEBY: John Nichol, one of the three Gulf War ex-POWs. He was


shot down in his Tornado and held prisoner. He leads the Royal Air


Forces Ex-Prisoners of War The RAF Police Association, the RAF


Nursing Association, the Bomber Command Association, who are hoping


to have finished by next year their They are followed by the Royal


Observer Corps and the RAFLING Association. The next column is led


by St Dunstans, the charity, its wreath-bear, Rob Long, who is just


24 years old, and was injured in Afghanistan, he said it had brought


St Dunstans followed by the Ulster Defence Regiment, the Irish Defence


Forces UK, the Northern Ireland Veterans' Association. And now


SSAFA ForceS Help. Helps 50,000 people a year. Operates homes near


Headley Court. The South Atlantic Medal Association. Julian Thompson


was in charge of 3 Commando Brigade, first ashore in the operation to


regain the Falklands. The people who were involved in the rescue of


troops from the bombed ship Sir Galahad. 255 British servicemen


lost their lives in the Falklands The Polish Ex--Combatants


Association. 500,000 Poles fought under British command in World War


Two. The Polish Air Squadron revered for downing more aircraft


than any other squadron. Nine of its pilots were designated "aces".


They fought also with great distinction. They are followed by


the Canadian Veterans Association. They played a vital role in the


Battle of the Atlantic. The Canadian Navy helping to secure the


supply routes. The Not Forgotten Association. The object of the


Association to provide recreation and entertainment for the war-


wounded. And the Royal British Legion and the Royal British Legion


Scotland. They round off this column. They were talking about the


amount of money that has been raised - Sophie was. Help For


Heroes, the salvation Army, they all raise money. Each year,


something like �300 million is raised for service charities.


Perhaps you are not surprised if you see the crowds here. The Royal


Naval Association. They have 20,000 serving and ex-serving members with


branches all over the UK and abroad. They are followed by the Merchant


Navy Association, carrying that white anchor. The National


President, her uncle died in World War Two. Her father was missing for


two years. 32,000 men and women of The Merchant Navy were lost in the


war. They have no known graves, of course, but the sea. But a memorial


for them stands now at Tower Hill. The youngest Merchant Navy serving


was 14 years old. The oldest was 74. The Russian Convoys. We were


hearing about Loch Ewe and the wreath-layer was at school with


Commander JOC Dempster who was talking to us a moment ago. -- Jock


Dempster who was talking to us a moment ago. The Yangtze Incident


Association is represented here. HMS Amethyst was held by the


Chinese until it was able to escape under the cover of darkness - a


great story. The Fleet Air Arm Association. The Royal Navy's air


force in effect. One of the most dangerous jobs is flying from sea.


It operates now in the North Arabian Gulf. 6,000 Royal Naval Air


Service and Fleet Air Arm personnel gave their lives. The Fleet Air Arm


Sea Harrier Association. The Landing Craft Association. They are


led by Ron Smith. We were talking to him earlier. Sophie was speaking


to him. He had that terrifying experience of being shelled as he


came ashore. They killed the crew of the tanks inside the tanks and


they couldn't get them out and had to go back to Portsmouth with the


tanks with their injured and dying troops inside. A very grim story.


The Algerines Association, it is a fleet of minesweepers brought into


service in 1942. More of them built than any other ship. HMS Cumberland


Association. The Glasgow Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval


Nursing Services are here. Some of them served aboard the ship Uganda


during the Falklands. 1984, it was, the first naval nursing sisters


were appointed and took the name of Queen Alexandra when she became


President in 1902. VAD Royal Naval Association. Then the Association


of WRENS. They are disbanded now. They were formed in 1920. The Royal


Fleet Auxiliary Association, laying their wreath at the Falklands


memorial. Their job to keep the Royal Navy equipped with food and


fuel and weapons while they are at sea. The Royal Naval Communications


Association follows them. And the Royal Naval School of Physical


Training Association were new last year. With their famous wreath with


the word "Gibraltar" on it, the Royal Marines Association. Most are


these clearly are commando-trained. Just back from Afghanistan, as we


had been talking about earlier on. Also with them, the United States


Marine Corps. They are marching here because they march and serve


alongside the Royal Marines in Now we come to some of the civilian


contingents. Transport for London, the Bevin Boys you may spot in


their white caps. The Salvation Army. They're offering their


spiritual support and famous cup of tea! The Bevin Boys are there. The


children of the Far East prisoners of war. The Evacuees Reunion


Association. The NAAFI who fed 500,000 troops on D-Day. The


Women's Royal Voluntary Service behind them. Just a reminder these


contingents are marching down and are now going past Horse Guards.


You can see the Prince of Wales. You will be able to watch this if


you push the red button, if you are watching digitally. Here, on


Whitehall, we have to leave the march-past. We have been watching a


ceremony that isn't a victory parade. Though many of those here


have helped win important victories which of course have changed our


world. There's been no hint of triumphalism here. This is about


remembering the many thousands who have fought Thor their country and


lost their lives. -- fought for their country and lost their lives.


Still in our complex world, with wars still being fought, no-one


doubts the courage of those who obey their orders, go to the most


dangerous places on Earth, support their comrades, risk and sometimes


Her Majesty the Queen leads the nation's Remembrance Sunday commemorations. Dignitaries from around the Commonwealth, the prime minister, leading politicians, representatives of many of the world's religions and military leaders join thousands of veterans from countless conflicts for the two minute silence, service and march past. All gather to remember those men and women who have died in action serving their country.

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