2013 Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph


David Dimbleby and Sophie Raworth present as Her Majesty the Queen leads the nation's Remembrance Sunday commemorations from 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 on the far-right there, the River Thames, the London


Eye on the left. The plain trees are still out in early autumn. The sun


is shining on the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben just behind the


square tower. Across to Westminster Abbey on the left of the picture.


Between those two great buildings is Parliament Square and Whitehall. You


can just glimpse the little white shape of the Cenotaph in this end of


Whitehall where today's ceremonial is focussed. At the moment, the


preparations are still going on for the beginning of the ceremony, on


the Great Parade Ground of Horse Guards, over 10,000 men and women


have been assembling for the last two hours, veterans from all the


services, some in uniform with their medals newly polished, proudly worn


on their chests. Others with bowler hats and umbrellas. All of them


people who have been involved either directly in the war or are


descendants of people killed in World War One and World War Two.


This morning each year, as close to November 11th as can be, is a great


moment not just for the nation to remember, but for these people to


remember, to meet with their old comrades. On Whitehall, the bands


have been taking their place. And the Hollow Square which surrounds


the Cenotaph is assembling. Then great crowds which have been here


since early, too. All people come to listen to music played year after


year. At the heart of this extraordinary event is silence. The


first silence took place in November 1919. An observer said, "Nothing


under heaven is so full of awe as the complete silence of a mighty


crowd." Here and across the country, ever since 1919, that silence has


been observed. It was suggested originally to the War Cabinet by a


father whose son had been killed in France. Each year since operations


began in Afghanistan, a similar service of commemoration has been


held in the desert fortress of Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, the


headquarters of the British and Commonwealth forces fighting there.


This time next year, the plan, of course, is to have most of those men


and women withdrawn. But until then, they continue to operate in a


dangerous and unpredictable theatre of war. This morning, they gathered


to remember the 446 killed here in the last 11 years.


After the Last Post sounded, the Duke of York led the mourners laying


a wreath here. He had been here before in the summer at Camp


Bastion. Here in London, those who died and


were wounded in Afghanistan will be among the many thousands - and


millions of dead remembered this morning. There are many veterans


here and this morning Sophie Raworth is going to be talking to some of


them, people who either are serving or did serve as members of the armed


forces. I'm here in Whitehall with Colonel Matt Jackson, the commanding


officer for 40 Commando Royal Marines until recently. This is your


first time here at the Cenotaph. This time last year, you were in


Afghanistan. What was that like? We were standing in a dusty place


conducting a private service for all the people that were at the camp. An


intensely personal and emotional event to take place in Afghanistan.


Very different to what goes on here today? Absolutely. At this time last


year, the Commando Group had taken four fatalities at that point. So it


was an incredibly poignant moment. Once that service is open, they all


go back to work? They do. At 11.00am, what will you, who will you


be thinking of when Big Ben strikes? I always think about those families


who have been most recently bereaved. So I will be thinking


about WO2 Fishermeadly. -- WO2 Fisher immediately. Here with us as


well is Colonel Mike Brooke. You are the Parade Commander here today. You


come back year after year. What brings you back? I come back to, in


quite a silent way, to commemorate all the sacrifice that Royal


Engineers Bomb Disposal have contributed over the years. On this


lovely sunny day, we should perhaps remember that in 1940, during the


Blitz, there were 20,000 bomb disposal engineers working hard to


defuse 24,000 unexploded bombs and 235 paid the terrible price with


their life. So we owe a lot, I think, to those who have gone


before. It is a great tribute with my colleagues and friends to come


here and pay that silent tribute as we go past the memorial. What is it


like, as you pass the Cenotaph, and also during the two minutes'


silence, what is it like for you for people around us here now? I bring


myself up-to-date in a way. I think of those in Afghanistan, since that


campaign, 22 explosive ordnance operators from the Royal Engineers,


the Royal Navy, who have paid a terrible price to make that country


safer and give the Afghan people a chance now to have agriculture and


education. I am hopeful for them and I try and have a hopeful, positive


twist as well as remembering those who have gone before. Colonel Matt


Jackson, looking around you now, the faces, the history, the stories, it


is extraordinary, isn't it? It is. The crowds here. As we were setting


up at 7.00am, people were coming out to be a part of this amazing event.


Thank you both very much. Today is a reminder of the scale of


slaughter and the sacrifice in war. The First World War in particular,


where these ceremonies here date from, cut like a scythe through a


whole generation. There was barely a family that had escaped death or


injury of either family member or friend. But some families seem to


have had far more than their own fair share of sorrow. At the


Imperial War Museum, Robin Scott Elliot discovered how a generation


of his family was wiped out. He began with his great-grandfather


Bertie killed in 1918. My great grandfather, Bertie


Anderson, received the Victoria Cross for what he did on that day.


He never saw this medal, or never knew of the award. But it is a link


to him, a symbol by which he can be remembered as a young man who did an


extraordinary thing at an extraordinary time and a way of


remembering him. Bertie came from a prosperous Glasgow family. Willie


and Nora Anderson had four sons Bertie, Ronnie, Charlie and the baby


of the family, Teddie. Charlie was the first of the boys to go to war.


He was the second youngest and he was actually a professional soldier.


Generally, there was to begin with an eagerness about going to war.


This is what they had been training for, they were looking forward to


it. When he got to France, he wrote a letter home to his mother Nora


that said, "So glad we are all going to be in this together." After just


eight days in the trenches, he was declared missing in action. Nora had


to wait eight months till his death was officially confirmed. Eight


months of just clinging to some sort of hope that he may be alive. Even


when that official confirmation came, you still knew that you


couldn't have your children home to bury them. Ronnie, Charlie's older


brother, felt his duty was to replace Charlie. He too was sent to


France. Ronnie was seen as being a wee bit scatty. He knew this himself


because he wrote a letter back to Nora when he was in the trenches in


1915 that said, "If I get killed, don't say 'So like Ron's careless


way.'" Ronnie's words tragically came true. A month later, he was


shot dead, picked off by a German sniper. Nora had lost two sons


within the space of a year. She made an album of her family and if you


flick through it, there's picture after picture of Teddie, the


youngest. There are few of Bertie, the eldest. But there is very little


in there of Charlie or Ronnie. Perhaps that is the way she found to


try and cope with it all by trying to bury the memory of what she had


lost. Teddie joined up straight from school. You look at all the pictures


of him. He is full of boyish enthusiasm, there is a zest for life


that is obvious there. Teddie loved flying, clearly. He used to write


long letters home to his mother and father. He describes one particular


raid that they went on before the Battle of the Somme to shoot down


some German observation balloons. And he talks about how when they


flew home afterwards his plane was shot at by the anti aircraft guns,


but he said he felt so bucked by it that he sang lustily the whole way


home. Teddie survived his six-month tour at the Front, returning to


become a flying instructor in Hampshire. He was killed in a


training accident aged just 21. Eight days later, Nora's eldest son,


Bertie, was also killed in France. She had now lost all four of her


children to the war. A cousin of Nora's wrote this - which I think


sums up the tragedy of the Anderson family, but also the grief that must


have affected so many families across the country. "Their loved


ones will never again hear the sound of their returning feet. No more


merry meals around the family table. No more letters to write, no more


letters to wait for." Back here in the heart of London at


Whitehall, the so-called Hollow Square that surrounds the Cenotaph


is assembling. Women at War Memorial there. This Hollow Square was


originally a military formation, the Life Guards, the Household Cavalry


standing in their scarlet cloaks. Next to them the King's Troop of the


Royal Horse Artillery, a detachment of the King's Troop will fire a gun


to mark the start and end of the two minutes' silence. Then, to their


left, the Welsh Guards of the Guards Division. Beside them, The Royal


Gurkha Rifles 2nd Battalion. Facing them on the other side, the Merchant


Marine, and then a detachment from the Royal Navy itself.


The Civilian Services are represented here, too. They stand


next to the Army Reserves. Among them, the police, Prison Officers,


fire and ambulance. So there is, by design, a representation of all the


forces needed in war, both civilian and military. The Royal Air Force,


in front of them the Regimental Sergeant Major of the bands waiting,


in a moment, to play us the traditional music, which has never


changed, and which begins with Rule Britannia. The Massed Bands are


under the command of the Senior Director of Music, Lieutenant


Colonel Barnwell. The Pipes and Drums and then behind them the Royal


Marine Band and the Royal Air Force Band. And all take their part in


playing this majestic music. The band now play Heart Of Oak, then


The Minstrel Boy and Men of Harlech. It is striking, though I suppose not


surprising, how those who fought together formed bonds which do last


down the years. We have seen that today on horse guards and we will


see that during the march passed the Cenotaph. They know that what they


went through was something which outsiders cannot share. This bond


crosses generations. Colonel Matt Jackson, who was talking to Sophie,


went to meet a fellow Royal Marine, a veteran of the Second World War


and the Normandy invasion, John Brunel-Cohen.


I thought you might to have a look at my orders, the only top-secret


document I own. And the only one I have seen of this age. It is good to


hold an historical document that is so well preserved. The last


paragraph reads, it is desirable to proceed in an orderly fashion, but


it is far more important to get a move on and get their, underlined.


On D-day, what were the conditions like on the cross in itself?


Terrible, very bad. Extremely wet and extremely uncomfortable. They


were open boats so we were wet from the very first moment. In fact, we


were wet for weeks. When you got to the beach itself, what was life like


there? There were a lot of snipers, enemy snipers about still. Seeing a


lot of German prisoners of war. That was good for our morale. What does


remembrance day at the Cenotaph mean to you? It means an enormous amount


to me. I am in a unique position. On the first day of the third Battle of


Ypres, my father was wounded, lost his legs and was in a wheelchair for


42 years. My father was at the head of the first parade at the Senate


half and it is extremely emotive marching through the streets of


London being applauded by the public 15 deep in many places. The


important thing is not to be placed between two bands because it is


difficult to march to two bands at the same time.


John Brunel-Cohen's father was a founding member of the Not Forgotten


Association, a charity which supports injured and ex-serving men


and women. It is with that organisation that John Brunel-Cohen


is parading today. Now the Skye Boat Song.


Massed Bands, turn! The Massed Bands now play I'll of


BT. Just one of the many people being


mourned today is Lieutenant Daniel Clack, who was killed at the age of


24. Daniel, from other's point of view was the perfect son. His


wardrobe would be the bedroom floor he was a typical teenage and early


20-year-old son, the fairies will come and pick that up and put that


away. None of our family is in the Army. Where it came from, it was


just born in him. He never saw himself as anything other than


basically a soldier, who would be out there putting his life at risk,


really. After Sandhurst military academy, Daniel joined the 1st


Battalion the Rifles as a platoon commander and was immediately


deployed to Afghanistan. There were three villages close to Dan's


checkpoint and they would patrol around that area every day. He was


trying to learn some of the local dialect. Although they had


interpreters, anything where they could learn and speak to the locals


was really good. On the 12th of August 2011, Daniel was out on a


routine foot patrol when he was killed by an improvised explosive


device. His men carried him onto the plane, which I think was extremely


difficult for them. They had to walk away and get on with their job KERS


they knew that was what and would have wanted. -- they knew that was


what Daniel would have wanted. The cortege bearing the coffin was


driven through the town of Royal Wootton Bassett. There were hundreds


of people there. It is about 40 miles from there to the Radcliffe


Hospital in Oxford. In every lay-by, at every roundabout, there were


people. It was really incredible. Hundreds and hundreds of people who


we did not know and they had been standing all afternoon in the


pouring rain, just waiting to pay their 's. -- just waiting to pay


there. I had made a memory box of


photographs of him as a child, the sport photographs, the silly


photographs and then I left three sections empty which would have been


the wedding photographs, family or whatever. It is very sad to look at


that box and see those empty sections. It will be the times when


his cousins get married, when friends get married, when they start


taking that next step forward and you can't help but think, that


should have been down. -- Daniel. Daniel's mother is joining the march


past here today with the rifles Regiment Association in memory of


her son. The pipes play the Flowers of the


Forest. The Flowers of the Forest are all withered away. It is a


moment perhaps to remember those who have fallen since last Remembrance


Sunday a year ago. Next, the unchanged order of music.


The Massed Bands play Edward Elgar's Enigma variations, Nimrod.


Nimrod is followed by Dido's Lament by Henry Purcell - When I Am Laid In


Earth. For those who have not experienced it directly, poetry has


often most brilliantly illuminated the nature of war. The Reverend


Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy was an Army chaplain in World War One. He


risked his life going into no man's land to comfort wounded soldiers.


Known affectionately as "Woodbine Willie" for the seemingly endless


supply of cigarettes he gave to troops, he was also a published poet


and after the War, wrote If Ye Forget.


Let me forget! Let me forget!


I am weary of remembrance. And my brow is ever wet.


With tears of my remembrance. With the tears and bloody sweat.


Let me forget. If ye forget - if ye forget.


Then your children must remember. And their brow be ever wet.


With the tears of their remembrance. With the tears and bloody sweat.


If ye forget. The Crossbearer, Johan de Silva,


leads the Children and Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal on to Whitehall.


Ten children and six Gentlemen-in-Ordinary, the Serjeant


of the Vestry, Chaplain of the Fleet, the sub dene of Her Majesty's


Chapel Royal and at the rear, the Dean of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal,


the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Right Honourable Dr


Richard Chartres. He is followed by Major-General Edward Smyth-Osbourne


CBE. He is in command of the Armed Services on parade here. He comes


out with his Chief of Staff and his Aide-de-Camp. He will be followed by


the procession of the politicians, who will be laying wreaths. Among


the politicians here today, former Prime Ministers, Sir John Major,


Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown are expected.


David Cameron, Nick Clegg on his right, the Prime Minister and Deputy


Prime Minister. The Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband.


Now, the Chiefs of Staff, Chief of the Defence Staff, the First Sea


Lord, Chief of the General Staff, the Air Staff and behind them


representatives from the Merchant Navy, the Chief Inspector of


Constabulary and then the long line of High Commissioners of 46


different Commonwealth countries. They take up position on three sides


of the Cenotaph. They will be followed by 14 representatives of


different religious denominations. So everyone will be in place for


members of the Royal Family to come out and for the silence itself in


three minutes' time. The Roman Catholic, the Right Reverend Richard


Moth, the Free Churches, the Buddhist Faith, Muslim Council, the


United Reform Church, Hindu Temples, the Salvation Army and the Greek


Orthodox Church are all there. There's the line of the politicians.


On the far left, George Osborne, the Chancellor, who is standing in for


William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, carrying that special


wreath laid on behalf of the dependencies. Boris Johnson, the


Mayor of London in the third row behind him.


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




Parade, attention! The Duchess of Cambridge in the


centre. Vice-Admiral Sir Timmy Lawrence on the right -- Sir Timothy


Laurence on the right there and The Duchess of Gloucester. The Queen and


the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Henry of Wales, who is standing in for his


father. The Duke of Cambridge. The Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal


and the Duke of Kent. 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.


Next, the Duke of Edinburgh, who has been much in evidence this week, at


92. He was at the Field of Remembrance. He has been at various


other commemorations. Tomorrow, he will be in Belgium for the Last Post


ceremony at the Battle of Ypres, which is held every evening there on


the Field of Flanders. Prince Henry of Wales, better known


as "Harry". He is laying a wreath today on behalf of his father, the


Prince of Wales, who is on official business in India. In January, he


came back from a tour of Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot. Many


of the Royal Family have military training. The Duke of Cambridge


next. He was a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force, a helicopter


and search and rescue work in Wales was his speciality. He is stepping


down now from that role. The Earl of Wessex is, in the


uniform of an honorary colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.


He will be followed by the Princess Royal. Today she will be taking the


salute of the march past after thes, when all of those parading go


back onto Horse Guards, and are organised by the Princess Royal.


And finally among the royal group here, the Duke of Kent, who is


president of the Commonwealth Walk Graves Commission. -- Commonwealth


War Graves commission. There are hundreds of graves all over the


world to remember all those who died.


The parade stands that ease, the funeral march is played as the Prime


Minister, David Cameron, lays the first wreath.


He is followed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Nick Clegg, the leader


of the Liberal Democrats. Ed Miliband, the Leader of the


Opposition, the leader of the Labour Party.


And now Nigel Dodds, , the Deputy Leader of the Democratic Unionist


party. Angus Robertson, of the Scottish


National Party lays a wreath on the half of Plaid Cymru, with an


inscription. George Osborne takes the place of William Hague, laying a


wreath on behalf of the Overseas Territories, a splendid wreath of


Juniper and Sage, made up specially in Kew.


Now it is the turn of the High Commissioners. They are from


countries which served in the first and Second World War is, why not two


of them are members of the Commonwealth which did not serve in


either but they are here because they are members of the


Commonwealth. The wreaths will be laid by High Commissioners, the


equivalent of ambassadors in these countries. The first group which


will step forward in a moment is from Canada, Australia, New Zealand,


South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Malaysia.


The sacrifice of these countries goes back to World War I, Australia,


for instance, had one in five of those who went to war killed, they


fought at Gallipoli and Passchendale. The Canadians landed


14,000 Canadian troops. The New Zealanders served in World War I.


They had 58,000 casualties out of 100,000 New Zealanders who served


and 17,000 killed. The second group from Nigeria,


Cyprus, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, which was a German colony, Jamaica,


Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Kenya and allowing. -- mill our way.


-- Malawi. The next group led by Malta which sustained continuous


bombardment day and night. Alongside them, Zambia, Singapore, Guyana,


Botswana, Lesotho, Barbados and Mauritius.


What we are seeing here is a way of remembering, not all our allies in


the two world wars. The Americans, for instance, are not here. The


Russians from the Second World War are not here, but these are


countries seen as having particular close lid is with Britain, former


members of the British Empire, seen almost as a family of nations.


Swaziland, Tonga, Fiji, Bangladesh, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New


Guinea, Seychelles, the Commonwealth of Dominica and the island of St


Lucia. That brings us to the last of the High Commissioners groups coming


forward. St Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and


Barbuda, Maldives, Saint Kitts and need this, Brunei Darussalem,


Nvidia, which was a German territory at the time of the Second World War,


Cameron, Mozambique, any member of the Commonwealth and Rwanda, they


are all here paying their respects for the service which was done for


democracy in those two world wars. The chiefs of staff next, Admiral


Sir George Zambellas, Sir Peter Wall and Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew


Pulford. The chief of defence staff does not lay a wreath. Following


them, the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets. Mr Anthony Wright lays their


wreath. The representative of the Air Transport Auxiliary Service is


Mr Derek K Smith. And Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary.


They step back. The service led by the issue of


London, Richard Chartres will begin. O Almighty God, grant we beseech


thee, that we who here do honour to the memory of those who 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.


# O God Our Help in ages past. # Our hope for years to come.


# Our shelter from the stormy blast. # And our eternal home.


# Beneath 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 in years to come. # Be though 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 and not to heed the wounds.


To toil and not to seek for rest. To labour and not ask for any


reward, Save that of knowing that we will do thy will.


Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. Our Father.


Who art in Heaven. Hallow'd 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.


The power and the glory. For ever and ever.


Amen. 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






TRUMPETS PLAY # 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 Royal Party now leaves Whitehall, still on the balcony the


Royal Party - we are being watched by the Duchess of Cambridge. I said


that was The Duchess of Gloucester on the right - it is of course the


Countess of Wessex. They go through the ranks of the


Queen's Scouts, who traditionally hold this staircase on the way back


into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


Next, the clergy leaves. The choir in those wonderful scarlet coats


that date back to the restoration under Charles II and the Chapel


Royal used to accompany the Sovereign. They say it dates back


1,000 years. Now the politicians who are here.


They leave. The Speaker, John Bercow. Tony Blair on the left, Sir


John Major on his left. Gordon Brown and other members of the Cabinet and


Boris Johnson in the rear there. At this stage, as there is a pause now


before the march-past begins, let's re-join Sophie Raworth.


I'm here in amongst all these veterans and civilians with two men


who served with the 1st Royal Anglian Regiment. Corporal Billy


Drinkwater and Private Ken Facal. You were in Afghanistan three years


ago in an incident which left you without your sight. What happened?


What it was, it was nearly four years ago, I was moving into a


compound, I cleared the entry point, or Ken was clearing the entry point,


I was behind him covering him. Ken, you want to? We found an IED,


discovered - we didn't realise, or we didn't confirm what type of IED


it was. So we decided to mark the IED and obviously I was kneeling


down, Bill was on my shoulder and it went off. An horrific incident. You


were conscious throughout, weren't you, and for hours afterwards? Yes,


I was conscious in the helicopter on the way out and I got put under when


I arrived back at bastion, so was Ken. -- Bastion. You were looked


after together. How important was it for you to be together? You have


supported each other enormously? It is a big help for both of us. We had


each other to bounce off. We were friends before so it was good to


have that support with the same injury. You are both here today. You


are marching with the Blind Veterans UK. What does it mean to be here


today for you? It is an honour, it is a great honour to be here to pay


our respects to the guys that didn't make it. And our friends that died


in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also, to mark the work that the charity does


for you, they have done a lot for you. You have done a lot for them,


raising money? Yes, of course. The help they have given us has paid


dividends, with the rehabilitation. We get a lot of help from them and


you can pass it on to other people. I will let you take your place for


the march-past. Thank you for joining us.


It is humbling to listen to voices like that. And many of those


represented here today at the Cenotaph have had those kinds of


experiences of the horror of war. The President of the British Legion


approaches the Cenotaph with 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-around Britain and


abroad to come here and form up their seven columns on Whitehall


ready for the march-past. They, of course, have arranged Poppy Day,


which is aimed at raising something like ?37 million this year. So the


President goes back to his place. Now, other representatives - London


Transport, the Royal Air Force's Association, the Royal Naval


Association, the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services league and the Royal


British Legion Scotland and the Royal British Legion Women's Section


will lay wreaths. The march-past will start soon and


it goes past the memorial to women, the black monument, commemorating


women at war. Their hats and coats are hung on pegs. It is easy to


forget that over seven million women in Britain were mobilised during the


Second World War. Nearly 500,000 of them were conscripted into the armed


forces and they drove ambulances, women worked on the land, they acted


as fire watchers and some of them were assigned to special secret


duties - women like Eileen Younghusband.


Bentley Priory in London is now a museum, but 70 years ago, it was the


home of one of the most important air defence strategies in the Second


World War. Eileen Younghusband was posted here. She had joined the


Women's Auxiliary Air Force aged 19 and she was sure she didn't want to


work in a canteen. Just before I went up for my


interview, I had met someone who was at school with me and she said, "If


you are going to join up, make certain that you tell them you want


to be Clerk's Special Duties." And I said, "What's Clerk's Special


Duties?" "I can't tell you" she said. That is exactly what happened


at the interview. The first thing this imposing Wing Officer said to


me is, "Do you want to be a cook or a driver?" I said, "I want to be a


Clerk's Special Duties." She nearly hit the ceiling. She was so amazed.


She said, "How do you know about that?" I said, "I don't know


anything about it, but I do know I have to tell you that I'm good at


mathematics." And that was the magic word. Being good at maths was key to


Eileen's new role in the Filter Room at Bentley Priory. It was the nerve


centre of Britain's new radar system. The task of Filter Room


staff was to interpret data from radar stations and use it to plot


the constantly changing positions of aircraft. It was intense and


difficult work. Stamina was so important because you might do an


eight hour watch and you were working constantly all the time.


There were girls plugged in on the telephone network. They were all


repeating any information they got, so the noise level was incredibly


high. On the balcony above was the controller identifying the aircraft,


shouting down, "Make it a hostile!" Make 173 a fighter. The women


working at the plotting table were in no doubt that the slightest


mistake could jeopardise lives. You have to imagine the atmosphere in


that room. The War was being fought in the air, in front of our eyes and


so many of the people there knew the squadrons that were operating, their


loved ones were taking part. Mayday. Two crash in the sea, air sea rescue


would go out and they wouldn't know whether it was their brother, their


husband, their lovers. They were doing their utmost to help our


pilots repel the enemy. Now 92, Eileen has never forgotten the vital


contribution her female colleagues made to the War. These women


dedicated their efforts to do everything possible to get us


victory, to help the men who were in the more dangerous positions


survive. I feel too that they deserve to be remembered at this


very special time of the year. Eileen Younghusband and some of her


extraordinary memories. I'm joined by the monument to women of World


War Two by Flying Officer Emily Don. You, I suppose, are the modern-day


equivalent of Eileen Younghusband. Tell us about the work you do? Yes,


we have a team of people on 24/7 identifying all the UK aircraft in


the skies and with the jets on standby to investigate anything that


looks out of the normal. You have served in Afghanistan as well? Yes,


I got back last month. I was embedded with the US Marine Corps


out there making sure the guys on the ground could receive the support


they needed in the air. As Eileen Younghusband said, it is very


important to remember and recognise the contribution of women to wars


over the decades? Yes, definitely. Every woman that signs up now is


expected to do an operational tour, the same as men. In World War Two,


there were many women involved, but it didn't get the recognition. Now,


it is a lot more important that we get remembered. Here with me as well


is Heather Duncombe. You have played your part. You have served for


almost 25 years. The Falklands, the Gulf War - you have worked very


hard. What brings you back here? To remember our fallen comrades, in


the Queen Alexandra nursing service and the girls and boys in


Afghanistan. Nowadays women get much closer to the front line than you


ever did? Absolutely, they go into the forward base operating areas and


on patrol as well. They are very busy, very important. Let's get one


final word with Colonel Matt Jackson. The role that women play,


they are not sent to the front line but they get there, don't they? They


certainly do. You had to see the story of the medic who got a


Victoria Cross. And the girls get very close to the front line. The


march past is about to start row shortly. Let me let you take your


places. Thank you for joining me. Thank you, safely. The mood changes


now. There is cheerful marching music, you will hear them all as the


music starts. The parade is led by the trustees of the Royal British


Legion. It begins this year with the War Widows Association. They wait


for the music to begin. And remember, there are over 10,000


veterans and civilians who will lay their wreaths. To the left of the


Cenotaph, it is the job of the men who will collect the wreaths and lay


them so there is a whole field of poppies around the memorial. You can


see the odd foreign cap badge, the yellow and red one there from the


Canadians. There are still 12-macro people who come here, but by and


large, these are members of forces from the United Kingdom or the


Commonwealth. Some people have come from New Zealand or Australia to be


here. It is an astonishing gathering and


it seems to grow each year, still, the numbers who come, as the crowds


on either side of Whitehall seemed to grow. Those people who stood in


silence. They now cheer the veterans as they go past.


The War Widows Association. Among them is Alex Williams who is


marching with her children today, in memory of her husband, a pilot who


was shot down in Iraq in 2003. You will see occasionally mothers with


children in the march past. They are followed by the British Gurkha


welfare society. The Gurkhas look after the needs of


former Gurkhas who live not here, but in Nepal. They are followed by


the Arab force founded in 1950. The Not Forgotten Association. Their


wreath lair, John Brunel-Cohen, who we were hearing from a moment ago, a


veteran of Normandy. The Dutch contingent and Polish


contingent have gone past. The Royal British Legion are next. They are


members who march with the Legion, rather than with regimental


organisations. And behind them this year for the first time, the Royal


British Legion Poppy Factory, who have been making poppies at Richmond


in Surrey. They are sold so successfully and raise, they hope,


?37 million. They are followed by the Northern Ireland Veterans


Association. The Irish United Nations veterans are also there with


green blazers and blue berets. The Ulster Defence Regiment, 197


soldiers were killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.


The FSA -- SSA FA, who helped people every year.


Behind them is the first aid Nursing Yeomanry and the Association of


Jewish Ex-service men and Women. 2500 of them were killed fighting.


The music is It's A Long Way to Tipperary.. The British Limbless


ex-service men's Association. The service was founded back in 1932 to


help members with rehabilitation. But I them is the Wheelchair Sports


at macro Association -- behind them. They encourage people, it started


with paralysed veterans in North America with the wheelchair games.


The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, founded by Charles II in 1682 for the relief


of veterans broken by age and war. Not that these redoubtable figures


look broken by either. The Queen Alexandra's Hospital Home for


disabled ex-service men and women. 103-year-old Harry Molyneux is here


today. He was shot in the leg at Alamein. And the Royal Star and


Garter Homes, they care for people who have been seriously injured.


Walking With The Wounded, a new charity founded in 2010. 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 begins with the


Merchant Navy Association. The Royal Marines Association in their very


easily recognisable green berets. These tough men. A major is marching


with his son. They were formed originally way back in the 17th


century as the Admiral's Regiment. They have been Britain's commandos


since 1942. The Telegraphist Air Gunners


Association I hear. -- are here. They served in the Fleet Air Arm.


They flew in the rear seat of aircraft carriers. Not a very


salubrious place to be. You will see much more in a moment. Let's join


Sophie Rayworth. I am here amongst the veterans with


Colonel Matt Jackson. Your first time here in Whitehall at the


Cenotaph. What have you made of it? The two-minute silence was amazing.


You could see the thought process behind everybody and what they were


doing and what it meant to a number of individuals. You could not here


then other than the leaves in the background. It was amazing.


Humbling. Hugely humbling. Now there is a palpable change in atmosphere.


We have gone from a real thought process to almost a celebration of


life, much like after a wake, where people are remembering that aspect


of it now which is important. The important thing to remember is the


bond between all these people. There is no sense of rank here today, is


there? Not at all. I saw a field marshal marching together with a


private soldier at the front of one rank. Absolutely amazing. Thank you


very much. The type 42 Destroyers at macro


Association. HMS Sheffield was struck by an Exocet in the Falklands


conflict. 20 men on board died. We have seen many others go past from


the Royal Navy, Glasgow, HMS Cumberland, HMS Glasgow, HMS


Ganges, they have all marched past. The Queen Alexandra 's nursing


Association are here. Russian Convoy Club, significantly


they have been awarded a new medal, the Arctic Star. The replay is Trudy


Grenfell, marching in memory of her father who died in June this year,


just after he had been given the new Arctic Star at his home in


Portsmouth. They weigh these whitecaps. Terrible work they had to


do going through the ice, snow and fog to take food and supplies to


Russia. They still keep connections to Russia, to the places they went


to like Archangel. The Broadsword Association. They


were able to rescue people from HMS Coventry when it was bombed.


Broadsword is a type 22 frigate. It is a very significant year for this


column of marchers, the British Korean Veterans Association. They


have been marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean


War. A special new memorial is going to be put up in London on the


embankment to commemorate those who fought in Korea. Over 1000 British


were killed and 1000 were taken prisoner of war.


One of those who received the VC is still alive, though not on parade


here today. Members of the Italy Star Association follow the Normandy


Veterans and the Malaya and Borneo Veterans' Association.


Then Monte Cassino - that horrific battle which was fought and which


ended in May 1944. The Gallantry Medallists League. The


National Gulf Veterans and Families Association. An association that


supports those who fought in the first Gulf War or in Iraq or in


Afghanistan. 30 members marching here. Followed by the Fellowship of


the Services. The Burma Star Association follows them. The Green


Berets with the Burma Star badge. The wreath bearer served as an


armourer during the retaking of Burma.


They still have 3,500 members. They are followed by the Far East


Prisoners of War Association. Then the Suez Veterans Association, the


Aden Veterans Association. 1st Army Association. Showmen's Gild of Great


Britain. At the end of this column, Popski's Private Army, a strange


organisation whose job was to destroy field supplies that Rommel


had built up in the desert. When they were captured they were


told to say they were petrol pump attendants. The Black and White


Club. They have been in every conflict since they were established


in 1991. They had one of their members, Corporal Sarah Bryant,


killed in operations in Afghanistan. They go round to Horse Guards from


Whitehall. All these processions will go round to Whitehall. The


Chelsea Pensioners are just reaching there. The Princess Royal will be


taking the salute as they go past. Meanwhile, back on Whitehall, it is


the turn of the county regiments. They date back to the time when it


was thought that a regiment should get its membership from particular


counties giving a loyalty and that loyalty has survived and is


represented here. The Northumberland Fusiliers, the Duke of Lancasters,


the Green Howards, the Cheshire Regiment, the Mercian Regiment.


Among them, Sue Clack, the mother of Lieutenant Daniel Clack, who spoke


so movingly about her son. The Rifles Regiment has been on


operations continually since they were formed in 2007.


There's Sue Clack, in the centre there. She spoke about her son


marching so proudly with the Rifles Regimental Association. One of many


mothers, wives, sisters who march here today in memory of their


families. They are followed by the Gloucestershire, Berkshire and


wiment shire -- Wiltshire Regimental Association and this is the Durham


Light Infantry Association. Eight of their members were killed by the IRA


on a bus. They are followed by the Green Jackets, veterans who have


seen service in Borneo and Hong Kong and Cyprus and Gibraltar and


Northern Ireland and the Gulf, Kosovo, Bosnia and Iraq and


Afghanistan. The Royal Green Jackets march faster than anybody else in


the British Army - but not today, needless to say. The Parachute


Regiment now. They were called the Red Devils by the Germans. They came


back from Afghanistan in 2011. Formed in 1940 by Winston Churchill.


He wanted a corps of 5,000 that could land behind the lines. Then,


the Scots. Joe Hubble there. The Black Watch. Peter Watt son in the


wheelchair there, accompanied by his wife who served in the WRENS in


World War Two. Peter Watson. The Black Watch were preceded by the


Royal Scots Regimental Association and they were followed by the Gordon


Highlanders Association, the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream


Guards, the Scots Guards, the Guards Parachute Association, and the


Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. Let's re-join Sophie.


Wonderful applause ringing out here in Whitehall. Colonel Jackson, it is


wonderful to hear, isn't it? It is something you spoke to John Brunel


Cohen, a D-Day veteran earlier. That was one thing that he picked out. He


said he appreciated the public recognition? Yes. I don't know


whether people can see it. Along the banks, everyone is clapping. There's


clapping behind us. There is a fair bit of banter going on as well


between former regiments. It is amazing to be part of it. You have


been in the services a long time. Has that public recognition changed


over the years, the support you are seeing today? In general life, yes.


Generally speaking, in the last 20 years, I think the public's


affection to the military has grown significantly. We are standing here


watching these extraordinary faces go past, young and old. There is a


real bond of the generations, isn't there? There is. You can see it. I


just saw a young lad marching with his grandfather. I saw young people


pushing older veterans in wheelchairs. I think there is a real


baton being passed with the passing of the last First World War veterans


to be part of this march, to another younger but older generation. We saw


last week, Prince Harry accompanying the Duke of Edinburgh to the Field


of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. You do get the sense that this act


of remembrance is being passed on? Absolutely. I felt that with John


Brunel Cohen, again from a personal perspective. Just seeing what they


did during the Second World War and to hear his stories of that event


and what he had done. My own grandfather who opened up to me when


I joined the forces. It was - a lot of respect for those. You can see


from the people we have been speaking to - and the people who are


walking past us right now - what it means to them, pride to be here


today? 100%. I couldn't put it better. What about for you? I have


been hugely privileged to be a part of this today. It will live long in


my memory. It is a real contrast from last year in that dusty area we


were talking about in Afghanistan to being here. I feel genuinely


privileged to have been here today. For now, thank you.


While Sophie was talking the Blind Veterans UK passed, the Royal


Dragoon Guards, the King's Royal Hussars, Reconnaissance Regiment Old


Comrades Association. The Army Dog Unit from Northern Ireland. The


Association of Ammunition Technicians who do such dangerous


work. The Beachley Old Boys Association,


Arborfield, too, the Women's Royal Army Corps Association.


The Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Association. Mike Brooke was talking


to Sophie earlier on. And as he was saying then, it is very, very


dangerous work for these people to do. The life expectancy of the


Sappers was only ten weeks. The Home Guard Association has been here. The


Royal Horse Artillery, the Royal Engineers Association. The Airborne


Engineers, the Army Air Corps, all people to do with handling dangerous


equipment. Then the Reconnaissance Corps. They replaced the Light


Cavalry of the past. Their job - their motto gives it away. "Only the


enemy in front." The Reconsaps DELWORD -- Reconnaissance Corps.


The Royal Military Police. Those are the Royal Pioneer Corps. They worked


here in London during the Second World War. There were over 7,000 of


them in Normandy. Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps


Association. The wreath bearer, Heather Duncombe, who spoke to


Sophie Raworth earlier. The wreath bearer there at the back of the


column - there she is. The Educational Corps, the


Veterinary Corps - they are all here.


These columns, broadly speaking, are made up of members of the same


service. There are exceptions, of course. The next column is the Royal


Air Force. We have the Royal Air Force


Association. And also the Royal Air Force


Regiment Association. Their work in Burma was such that the surrender of


the Japanese, Lord Mountbatten who was the supreme commander, said they


should form the guard of honour. They are followed by the Royal Air


Force X prisoners of war Association. John Nichol Mark is


with them. He was shot down. There is the beginning of Column C


passing the women of World War II memorial. The Princess Royal still


takes the salute of everyone who is part of this long procession of


veterans and civilians. We also have the Bomber Command


Association. They will receive a special class which says Bomber


Command, given along with the Arctic at macro star, it has taken them a


long time to get proper recognition. Just last year, their


new memorial, the bomber command Memorial, in Green Park was opened.


The attrition rate of Bomber Command was enormous. Most of them died.


The Royal Observer Corps follows them with their blue berets. Then


the RAF linguist, six Squadron the Royal Air Force. The air sea rescue


and marine craft section I hear with their rollneck pullovers under their


blazers. They also laid wreaths at Bridlington today. Their job to


rescue pilots who crashed into the sea in all weathers. Their leader


there spent 25 years on high-speed launches.


The Butterworth and Penang, a new organisation for people who served


in the Far East. The Women's Auxiliary Airforce


Association. they are marching on behalf of those


who were driving buses during the war. The first aid nursing Yeomanry


follows them led by Tricia Bishop. The British resistance movement are


marching for the first time today. They were set up by Winston


Churchill, to provide a force, in the case of a German invasion, that


would go underground, live in secret bunkers and come out and kill German


attackers if they could. They were never called on in the end but brave


men were called on to do that. Little was known about them because


they signed the official secrets act, until the late 1990s. This is


the first time they have marched. The first aid Nursing Yeomanry


preceded them. And the munition workers, the salvation army and the


London Ambulance Service. The Royal Ulster Constabulary, the


George Cross Association. And so the pile of poppies and


wreaths grows. The Commonwealth War Graves


commission wreath is there. Wreaths representing civilians, families,


the RSPCA. In France, in World War I they looked after 700,000 sick and


wounded animals in their hospitals. They are followed by other animal


charities, the Blue Cross, one of the leading charities in Britain and


the PDSA. That launched a Victoria Cross for animals known as the


Dickin Medal, awarded to animals who had shown conspicuous acts of


gallantry. The Malayan Volunteers Group, those


who fought as civilians in Melayu. The Gallipoli Association, the


Western Front Association and then the charities. The Association of


round tables, the Lions Club, the 41 Club and the Romany and Travverler


Society is here. The -- the Romany and Traveller


Society. It is a long march for some of these


people. There are people in this parade who are 100 years old. There


are publishing wheelchairs. They have been up here since seven


o'clock in the morning. There is a man walking with a stick. It is not


an easy business but it is something that veterans are dedicated to year


in, year out, so all of us can share in the experiences they went through


and so we can honour them by watching the ceremony. The Sea Cadet


Force now, the youngsters come through. And the Combined Cadet


Force follows them. Sea Cadets this time from Northern


Ireland, Scotland and the north-east of England. They are all the United


Kingdom. They are followed by the Combined Cadet Force. The Army Cadet


Force from Staffordshire and the West Midlands.


Experience leading youth there. They are giving marching orders for eyes


left. Behind them, the Scout Association I can see just coming


into the picture at the top there. Members of the Queens Scout working


party who hold the Queens Scout award. They have an honourable


history in World War II. During the blitz they showed outstanding


courage. The girl guides from London and the south-east of England this


year. They are representing members from Sussex. The counters of Wessex


is their president. The Boys Brigade and the Girls Brigade of England and


Wales -- the counters of Wessex. Brigade, the Metropolitan Police


cadets and at the end the St John Ambulance cadets and the British Red


Cross. They were formed in 1870, helping millions of people around


the world. That tale passes the Cenotaph. 10,366 people, we reckon,


have passed the Cenotaph. 241 groups have marched past and have gone


round to Horse Guards where we rejoin Sophie Rayworth.


Here we are on Horse Guards parade surrounded by thousands and


thousands of veterans and civilians who have taken part in the march


passed today. Two gentleman who had taken part for the first time, Heath


Jamieson who was marching with walking for the wounded and Steve


Tatham. You are incredibly lucky to be here today, tell us what happened


to you in Afghanistan. I got shot in Afghanistan. I fractured some


vertebrae and did a lot of damage so it is good to be here. You have


flown in literally, from Australia to highlight the importance of the


charities who are here today to highlight the work that you do. We


are doing an expedition to the South Pole leaving at the end of the week.


Charities like Walking With The Wounded help retrain soldiers to get


back into the civilian workforce. It is your first time here today. What


do you make of it? It is an honour. The British do it very well. Steve


Tatham, explain some of the work you did. Our job in Afghanistan is to


understand the human terrain. We have been there for seven years now,


trying to persuade people that the right course of action is not the


Taliban course of action but is a port their national government. Tell


me about the people you were remembering when you walked past the


Cenotaph early on. You lost one of your members, didn't you? We did, we


sadly lost Corporal Sarah Bryant who was one of our special analyst. You


cannot do our work from behind a barbed wire cage, you have to be


amongst the people. Unfortunately, she made


amongst the people. Unfortunately, here on the very first time and he


led the parade. With Earl Haig. And for you to be here today, you have


been here a few times now. I felt it was correct that I should come even


though sadly I am in a chair. That is not through any wound or


anything. You to part in the march passed in a chair but you are very


determined to stand with us now because it is a very proud moment


for you. It is indeed. The whole parade is a very thought-provoking


and evocative and emotive parade. To march through the streets of London,


cheered by thousands, is an experience. Colonel Mike Jackson,


extraordinary role. You met John Brunel-Cohen earlier on. I did. It


is about being able to have met him. Amazing. Thank you.


The Princess Royal still saluting as the veterans pass. The national


President of the British Legion is on the podium with her.


Everything becomes less formal after this. Many of these old friends


gather in pubs around the area, or go back to their clubs, regimental


clubs up-and-down the country. A memorable day for all of them in


this November sunshine. And a wonderful moment for us to recall


their sacrifice. Let's re-join Sophie again.


Here on Horse Guards Parade is Lieutenant Colonel Mike Smith. You


are the Rifles Regimental Casualty Officer. It is also incredibly


important to remember those who have been injured, very often very


severely in conflicts past? Absolutely. Every regiment considers


itself to be a family. We take that responsibility very seriously in the


Rifles. We have had 62 killed in action since the Rifles were formed.


For every soldier who has sadly lost his life, there is another four who


have been seriously wounded. Those guys need our help. Not now, but


forever. The average age of our seriously wounded is 18 to 26.


They've got decades, hopefully, of good life ahead of them. We need to


be there for them to make sure we offer support, financial, emotional


support for the rest of their lives. And important for you to be here for


that reason today? Absolutely. Thank you for joining me on Horse Guards


Parade. Thank you, Sophie. You know that, at


moments of national remembrance like today, we are reminded of the scale


of human suffering and the pain caused by war and to do that we


repeat the numbers of those killed in conflict though numbers alone


could help us understand the scale and horror of war. But it is not


easy, though, perhaps it is not possible to mourn numbers. Too


impersonal. Too many faces we have never seen. Too many stories we have


never heard. And it is not the raw numbers that those gathered here


remember, nor the families who have been bereaved by war remember, it is


one particular death. One absence from life. A son or daughter,


brother or sister, or friend who did not return. Just two minutes of


silence once a year seems so little to offer for everything they gave.


From Whitehall, goodbye.


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.

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