Coverage of the morning's Remembrance Sunday commemorations and the march past of veterans at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
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Good morning from the heart of London on a bright, sunny morning.
Yesterday's rain has cleared away and we can see the whole skyline,
from the new Shard, the River Thames, the London Eye on the left.
The trees out in early autumn. The sun shining on the Palace of
Westminster. They Whitehall. You can just glimpse the
little white shape of the Cenotaph, this end of Whitehall, where today's
ceremonial is focused. At the moment, the preparations are still
going on for the beginning of the ceremony, on the great parade ground
of Horseguards. Over 10,000 men and women have been assembling for the
last two hours. Veterans from all services. Some in uniform, with
their medals newly polished. Proudly worn on their chest. Others with
bowler hats and umbrellas. All of them, people that have been
involved, either directly in the war or the descendants of people killed
in World War I and World War II. or the descendants of people killed
their old comrades. In every way, today is a reminder of the scale of
slaughter and the sacrifice in war. The First World War in particular,
were these ceremonies date from, they cut like a scythe through a
whole generation. There is barely a family that escaped the loss of a
family member or a friend. But some seem to have more than their fair
share of sorrow. Robin Scott Elliott discovered how a generation of his
family was wiped out. It began with his great-grandfather, birdie,
killed in 1918. My great-grandfather, Bertie Anderson,
received The Victoria Cross for what he did that day. He never saw this
medal, he he did that day. He never saw this
prosperous Glasgow family. Willie and Laura Anderson had four sons.
Charlie was the first to go to war, the second youngest and a
professional soldier. To begin with, there was an eagerness about going
to war. This is what they have been training for. They were looking
forward to it. He wrote a letter home to his mother that said, we are
all going to be in this together. After just eight days in the
trenches, Charlie was declared missing in action. Nora had to wait
eight months until his death was officially confirmed. Eight months
of clinging to some sort of hoped that he may be alive. Even when that
official confirmation came, you still knew that you could not have
your children home to bury them. Ronnie,
your children home to bury them. get killed, don't say it is so like
Ron's careless ways. His words tragically came true. A month later,
he was shot dead, picked off by a German sniper. Nora lost two sons in
the space of a year. She made an album of the family. There is
picture in picture of Teddy, the youngest. There are a few of
Bertie, the eldest. There were very few of Charlie or Ronnie. Perhaps
that is how she coped, trying to bury the memory of what she had
lost. Teddy joined straight from school. You look at the pictures and
he is full of boyish enthusiasm, there is a zest for life that is
obvious. Teddy loved flying, obviously. He used to write long
letters home to his mother and father. He
letters home to his mother and guns. He said he was so bucked that
he sang all the way home. He survived, returning to become a
flight instructor in Hampshire. He was trained in a Dutch killed in a
training accident. Eight days later, his great-grandfather was also
killed. Their mother, Nora, had lost all four children to the war. A
cousin of Nora wrote this, which sums up the brief of the Anderson
family and that of families across the country. Their families will
never hear their merry feet, no more meals around the family table, no
more letters to write, no more meals around the family table, no
Whitehall, the bands waiting, in a moment, to play, as always, the
traditional music. It begins with rule Britannia. Bands are under the
command of the senior director of music. They are made up of the
Grenadiers, the Irish, the Welsh and the Coldstream Guards. The pipes,
the drums. Find them, the Royal Marines band and the Royal Air Force
band. Just one, among the many servicemen
and women being mourned today by their families is Lieutenant Daniel
Clack, who served in the First Battalion, the Rifles, and was
killed at the age of 24. From a mother's point of view, he was
obviously a perfect son. His wardrobe would be the bedroom
floor. He was a typical teenage, early 20s son. It will be OK, the
fairies will come and pick that up or put it away. None of our family
are in the army. It was or put it away. None of our family
Rifles, as a platoon commander and was immediately deployed to Shaparak
in Afghanistan. There were three villages close to Dan's checkpoint.
They would patrol around that area every day. He was trying to learn
some of the local dialect. Although they had interpreters, anyway they
could learn and speak to the locals was very good. On the 12th of
August, 2011, he was on routine patrol when he was killed by an
improvised explosive device. His men carried him onto the plane. Which I
thought was extremely difficult for them. And then they had to walk away
and get on with their job, because they knew that is what Dan would
have wanted. through. There were hundreds of
people there. It is about 40 miles, from there to the hospital. In every
lay-by, every roundabout, people. It was really incredible. Hundreds and
hundreds of people that we did not know. And they had been standing all
afternoon, in pouring rain, just waiting... Just to pay their
respects. As one of Dan's 21st presents, I did a photo memory box
for him. We had photos of him as a child, the baby photos, sport
photos, silly photos. Then I left three sections empty, which would
have been the wedding three sections empty, which would
friends get married, when they all started taking that next step
forward. You can't help but think, that should have been done. -- Dan.
The pipes play The Flowers Of The Forest, written to commemorate the
Battle of Flodden field. The flowers on the forest are withered away. It
is a moment to remember, perhaps, those who have fallen since last
Remembrance Sunday a year ago. The Massed Bands play Edward Elgr's
Enigma variations, nimrod. The Mighty Hunter. King of mess poe
Tynia. six gentlemen in ordinary, the
Sergeant of the vest tri, the Chaplain of the fleet. The sub-Dean
of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal and at the rear, the Dean of the Chapel
Royal, the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Dr Richard Chartres.
He is followed by the Major General of the procession. He commands the
Household Division. He is actually in command of the armed services on
parade here. He comes out with the Chief of Staff and his aide.
David Cameron, Nick Clegg on his right, carrying their wreath. The
Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, leader of the Liberal
And now the chiefs of staff, the Opposition, Ed Miliband .
And now the chiefs of staff, the Chief of Defence Staff, Sir Nicholas
hue ton, and the cyst Sea a Lord Dobb and the First Sea Lord.
And the Air Chief Marshal and behind them the merchant and Civil Service
represents from the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets. The Chief
Inspector of Constabulary and then the long line of High Commissioners
or other representatives of 46 different Commonwealth countries.
And they will be followed by 14 representatives of different
religious denominations. The Roman Catholic Right Reverend Richard
Moth, the Rabbi. The Buddhist
Moth, the Rabbi. Salvation Army and the Greek Or the
docks Church all there. From the -- orthodox and from the balcony up
there, other members of the Royal Family will be watching as the royal
party itself, led by Her Majesty the Queen, comes out.
They come out on to Whitehall. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Henry of Wales, who is standing in for his father, the Duke
of Cambridge. And we are nearing the moment when
Big Ben will start chiming for 11.00am. And for the two minutes'
silence being observed throughout this country, not just here at the
Cenotaph in Whitehall. Her Majesty the Queen, the head of
all the Armed Forces lays the first wreath.
been much in evidence this week. 92. He was at the Field of Remembrance.
He has been at various other commemorations and tomorrow is going
to be -- he is going to be in Belgium at the menin gate.
Prince Henry of Wales, better known as Harry, is laying a wreath on
behalf of his father, the Prince of Wales, who is on official business
in India. In January he came back from a tour
in India. In January he came back Wales was his speciality but he is
stepping down now from that role. The Earl of Wessex. The uniform of
an honorary colonel of the Royal Wessex yeoman. He will be followed
by the Princess Royal, in the uniform of Chief Commandant for
women. An Admiral's uniform. She is also Commodore chief in Portsmouth.
Today, she will be taking the salute of the March after the Cenotaph on
Finally, amongst the Royal group, Horseguards,
Finally, amongst the Royal group, the Duke of Kent. President of the
Commonwealth War Graves commission. Hundreds of Graves throughout the
world, to remember those who died. The parade stands at ease. Funeral
March Number One In B Flat Minor is played,
He is followed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, leader of the
Liberal Democrats. Ed Miliband, leader of the official
opposition. The leader, of course, of the Labour Party.
And now Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist
Angus Robertson of the Scottish National Party, at Westminster. He
lays a wreath on behalf of applied -- Wales.
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, taking the place of
William Hague, who is away on business in Geneva, laying a wreath
on behalf of the overseas territories. A splendid wreath of
Juniper, sage, live and mangrove, made up especially in Kew. Nowadays
the turn of the High Commissioner 's. The
the turn of the High Commissioner these countries goes back to World
War I. Australia, for instance, had one in five of those killed. They
fought in Gallipoli and Passchendaele. At Juno Beach, they
landed 14,000 Canadian troops. The next group, from Nigeria and Cyprus.
Sierra Leone, Tanzania. That was a German territory at the time of the
First World War. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Kenya and
Malawi. The next group, led by Malta, the island which was awarded
The George Cross for the courage of all of its
What we are seeing here is a way of remembering not all of our allies in
the two world wars. The Americans, for instance, are not here. The
Russians, from the Second World War, are not here. These are countries
seen as having particularly close links with Britain, mostly former
members of the Empire. Seen almost as a family of nations. Swaziland,
Tonga, Fiji, Bangladesh, the Bahamas, grenade, Papa New Guinea,
Seychelles, the Commonwealth of Dominica and the island of St Lucia.
That brings us to the last of the Commissioner's groups.
That brings us to the last of the Brunei, Namibia, a member of the
Commonwealth now but a German territory at the end of the Second
World War. Cameroon, Mozambique, a new member of the Commonwealth.
Rwanda, or here, paying their respects for the service done to
democracy in those two world wars. Chiefs of staff, next. General Sir
Peter Wall, Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulver.
The chief of the defence staff, behind there, does not lay a
wreath, because the other three server for all three services.
Following them, the civilians. The merchant Navy and fishing fleets.
Anthony Wright, from the Isle of Man. The
Anthony Wright, from the Isle of step back, -- Chief Inspector of
Constabulary. Mighty God, grant we beseech thee,
that we do here do honour to the memory of those that have died, in
the service of their country and of the Crown, may be so inspired by the
spirit of their love and fortitude 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, amen.
# Our hope for years to come # Our shelter from the stormy blast
# And our eternal home. # Under the shadow of Thy throne
# Still may we dwell 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
# Or earth received her frame # 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 # Our shelter from the stormy blast
# And our eternal home. trespasses, as we forgive them that
trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
evil, for thine is the kingdom, the power and the Glory, for ever and
ever, amen. To 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 upon to you. The Lord
lift up the light of his countenance upon you. And give you his piece,
this day and always. Amen. # God save our gracious Queen
# Long live our noble Queen # God save our Queen! #
# Sent her victorious # Happy and
# Sent her victorious Whitehall.
They go through the ranks of the Queen's Scouts, who traditionally
hold this staircase on the way back into the Foreign Commonwealth
Office. The choir, in those wonderful scarlet coats that date
back to the restoration under Charles II. The Chapel Royal used to
accompany the sovereign. They say it dates back 1000 years.
The speaker, John Bercow, from the House of Commons. Tony Blair, on the
left. John Major. Gordon Brown. The President of the British Legion
approaches the Cenotaph and lays the Royal British Legion wreath. The
Royal British Legion being the largest of all the military
charities and one of the oldest and the organiser of this march past
here today. No mean task to get people from all round Britain and
abroad to come here and form up their seven columns on Whitehall,
abroad to come here and form up Transport, the Royal Air Forces
Association. The Royal Naval Association. The Royal Commonwealth
Ex Services League. The Royal British Legion Scotland and the
Royal British Legion Women's Section.
The march past will start soon and it goes past the memorial to women,
the black monument commemorating women at war, with their hats and
coats hung on pegs. It's easy to forget and perhaps surprising that
over 7 million women in Britain were mobilised during the Second World
War. mobilised during the Second World
the Trustees of the Royal British Legion. It begins this year with the
War Widows' Association. The War Widows, led by Baroness Janet. Among
them Alex Williams who is marching with her children today in memory of
her husband, a pilot who was shot down in Iraq in 2003. We will see
occasionally mothers or fathers and small children in the march past.
It's followed by the British Gurkha Welfare Society.
The not forgotten association. Their wreath-layer, John Brunel Cohen, a
veteran of Normandy. Be and behind them this year, for
veteran of Normandy. Be and behind Surrey. The Soldiers Sailors, and
Airmen Association. 7,000 trained volunteers they have, who work right
through the United Kingdom, helping 50,000 people a year. And the
Association of Jewish ex-servicemen and Women. 60,000 Jewish men and
women served in World War Two. 2,500 of them were killed fighting.
BLESMA. The British Legion's ex- ex-service -- British Limbless
ex-servicemen's association. the royal oar till tricompany. --
royal Royal Artillery company, he was shot at almain he is here today.
The royal Star and Garter Home, follow on. They provide, ever since
the middle of the First World War, care for people who have been
severely injured. Walking with the Wounded. A new charity, founded in
2010. And the idea was, among other things, to lead a team of 12 wounded
from the United Kingdom, America and the Commonwealth, to race to the
South Pole. The next column the Commonwealth, to race to the
their very easily-recognisable green berets. These tough men come and
march. A Major is marching with his son Duncan who served with the Royal
Marines. It was formed as the Admiral's Regiment but they have
been Britain's commandos since 1942. The Type 42 Destroyers' Association.
The wreath layer is an Able Seaman aboard HMS Chef Field when she was
struck in the Falklands conflict. 20 men died.
struck in the Falklands conflict. June this year, just after he had
been given the new Arctic Star at his home in Portsmouth. They wear
these white caps. The terrible work they had to do, going around through
the ice and the snow and fog, to take supplies and food to Russia.
They still keep connections with Russia, with the places they want
to. The Broad Sword Association now, being led by the ship's captain
during the Falklands conflict. Captain Canning. Broad Sword was
able it rescue 170 crew members from HMS Coventry when she was bombed in
the talk lands. -- Falklands.
It's a very significant year, this, for this column of marchers,
It's a very significant year, this, London on the embankment to
commemorate those who fought in Korea. Over 1,000 British killed.
Over 1,000 taken prisoner of War. Members of the Italy Star
Association follow the Normandy Veterans and the malaia and Borneo
Veterans Association. Italy Star commemorating those who fought in
Sicily, from the beginning of July 1943. And entered Rome just before
the invasion in Normandy and Monte Casino. That horrific battle that
was fought and eventually ended in May 1944 when the Germans withdrew
from the ruins there which was blocking the way to roam.
-- Rome. blocking the way to roam.
trenches in 1916. The Burma Star follow them, the green berets, with
the Burma Star badge. The wreath bearer, Ron Meads served as an
armour in the Royal Air Force during the re-taking of Burma. That was the
beginning in 1952 of a long campaign that was finally successful - the
people who referred to themselves ironically as the Forgotten Army.
They still have 3,500 members. They remember that horrific time battling
through the jungles of Burma against the Japanese. The Black and White
Club. Propaganda - The skaf rifles Regiment Association
here. -- Rifles Regiment. Among them Sue Clack. The mother of
Daniel Clack who spoke so movingly about her son. One of many mothers,
wives, sisters who march here today. They march in memory of their
families. And then the Reconnaissance Corps. Their motto is
- only the enemy in front, and every other beggar behind. Their job was
to be the cat's whiskers. They were mechanised. They tramsmitted that
they were whiskers like a cat, us issing out what was going on ahead
they were whiskers like a cat, us was opened. The Attrition Rate
Bomber Command was horrific. 55,000 died. Most of them around 20, 21,
22. The youngsters come through. The Sea Cadets. This time from Northern
Ireland, Scotland and the north-east of England. They are all over the
UK. Followed by the Combined Cadet Force. They are from a it school in
Peter borough. The Army Cadet Force from Staffordshire in the West
Midlands. Experience leading youth there, giving the marching orders -
eyes left. And at the there, giving the marching orders -
the Cenotaph. At moments of national remembrance like today, we, of
course are remembered by the scale of human suffering and the pain
caused by war. To do that, we repeat the numbers of those killed in
conflict, as though numbers alone could help us understand the scale
and horror of war. It's not easy, though, perhaps it is not even
possible to mourn numbers. Too impersonal. Too many faces we have
never seen. Too many stories we've never heard. And it's not the raw
numbers that those gathered here remember. Nor that the families who
have been bereaved by war remember. It's one particular death,
have been bereaved by war remember. so little to offer for everything
they gave. From Whitehall,
David Dimbleby and Sophie Raworth present as Her Majesty the Queen leads the nation's Remembrance Sunday commemorations from the Cenotaph in Whitehall. The prime minister, leading politicians, representatives of many of the world's religions, dignitaries from around the Commonwealth 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.