2011 Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance


Huw Edwards presents the annual Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall. Sir Cliff Richard, Alfie Boe, Katherine Jenkins and Joe McElderry perform.

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This year, the British Legion celebrates 90 years of service to


the men and women of the Armed Forces and to their families.


During that time, the poppy has become THE enduring symbol of


remembrance. This is one of the very first poppies to emerge from


the Legion's workshop back in the 19 20s. It is simple and fragile


and yet a strong statement that we will always remember. In a few


moments, Her Majesty the Queen will join us here at the Royal Albert


Hall as we mark a special year for the British Legion at the Festival


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Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, ladies and gentlemen, in the 12


months since last year's Festival, 44 members of the British Armed


Forces have lost their lives, others have suffered life-changing


injuries. This year, the Royal British Legion marks 90 years of


supporting veterans and their families. 90 years from the Somme


to Helmand Province. It is now laying the ground work for the next


90 years and beyond. Much of that responsibility of course lies with


the Legion's workers throughout the United Kingdom. So would you please


welcome the National and Branch Standards of the Royal British


Legion, Royal British Legion Scotland and representatives of the


ex-service and civilian The Union Flag bearer is John


Grimes. He is followed by the National Standard Bearer David


Brown and we have 17-year-old John Thornhill the Youth Standard Bearer.


A strong presence of cadets. 14,000 sea cadets represented. 47,000 army


cadets and 900 squadrons of the RAF's cadet force. Here we have the


109 Standard Bearers from the branches, the people who do all the


hard work up-and-down the country and that provide support for people


in local communities and of course a social life, a meeting place for


members to get together. Lieutenant Colonel Graham Jones in his final


year as Senior Director of Music. Part of a very important team of


people including Garrison Sergeant Major Bill Mott. Among the Ex-


Service Associations this year we have the War Widows Association,


And also with us tonight the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen


and Women represented by Leslie My husband is Major Jon Cresswell


and he is in 29 Commando. The choir was set up six months ago


and it's for wives and girlfriends, mothers and daughters of families


of deployed units. and it was set up by Gareth Malone.


It's been an absolute godsend to us while the men are away.


Each rehearsal that we have, you look forward to that date,


so you've got something else to think about.


You get to sing and all your emotion comes out.


At the Festival of Remembrance we're singing Wherever You Are.


It's been composed by Paul Mealor and he's took lyrics from letters


that we've wrote, and he's tried to put them together


in a song that's really going to represent what we're about


and about the boys coming home, and that's what we want to say to them.


While Tom's been away, I've tried to write every day.


Letters are really important to us because you're out there


and you've been working hard and you know there's an influx of


letters due soon, so you see the helo come in,


landing with the mailbags, and you think, "Oh, hope


I've got a letter." The tour has been a huge challenge.


When the incidents have happened, they've come out of nowhere,


in many senses. We have enjoyed success out there


but it's been tempered by the sad losses we've taken.


In terms of maintaining morale, letters are essential -


that reminder of home. Jon came home two weeks ago and


it was wonderful. The children were counting down


the days and the hours. You know, you go through a sort of


mixture of emotions - it's excitement,


it's nerves, it's relief. You're waiting for seven months for


that one day to come, and it's so long to wait for one day.


It's just so exciting. It doesn't matter how long you've


been together, every time I go to pick him up, I get butterflies.


I hope that with this song and these beautiful words,


we are able to capture that emotion of what it's like when you're away


from the person you love the most. For example, the lines,


"Wherever you are, my heart will keep you safe,


"my love will build a bridge of light across both time and space."


It doesn't get better than that. Sitting in the Albert Hall


listening to her sing, it's going to make me feel really


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# My heart will build # Wherever I am


# I will keep you safe Than this


# Cling on to faith Greater love


# Along the dark, dark way


# Wherever I am That a man


# I will hold on through the night Lay down his life


# I will pray each day


# A safe return For his friends


# And look up now to the light


# Light up the darkness


# My wondrous star


# Our hopes and dreams


# My heart and yours


# Forever shining far


# Light up the darkness


# My prince of peace


# May the stars shine all around you


# May your courage never cease. #


# Ahh


# May your courage never cease. #






At this


At this Festival


At this Festival we remember all those who have been called


to make personal sacrifice in the service of our nation,


including the ultimate sacrifice. We stand shoulder to shoulder with


all who serve. We will care for those who suffer,


comfort the lonely and give support to all in need.


Holding high this torch of remembrance, we go forward


committed to strive for peace and The challenge for the British


Legion today is to be as relevant to the Armed Forces' community as


it was in 1921. In those early years, its resources were tested to


the limit as the economy collapsed and millions were unemployed. In


fact the jobless total for 1921 was the highest on record. The big


problem for many countries then, as it is today, was debt. Vast sums


had been borrowed to pay for the Great War in six million Britons


had been mobilised. But as the '20s gave way to the '30s, a degree of


economic prosperity returned and the music of that time reflects the


more upbeat mood. Here to give us a taste of that age, are the Royal


Air Force Squadronaires and his first-ever appearance at this


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# And I've said to myself # When, darling


# I'd sacrifice anything # Just the thought of you


# I would sacrifice anything # And it keeps on repeating


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# Just the thought of you Now in the past year, the charity


come bass stress has helped more than 1,400 servicemen and women


suffering from depression or anxiety or a phobia, or post-


traumatic stress disorder. The current case load is more than


4,500 including more than 200 Afghanistan veterans and more than


500 Iraq veterans. These are problems of course which can affect


an entire network of family and friends. For 90 years, the British


Legion has been caring and that work, however challenging, goes on


It was October 2010, I received a phone call from


Terry's long-term partner, Danielle. She was extremely distressed on


the phone, she was crying, and told me that, basically,


we were her last chance. I first joined the Army in


September '01 at the age of 16. It was just something I'd always


wanted to do, and I've stayed in for eight years.


He changed a lot when he come home from Afghanistan.


He started drinking a lot, he weren't sleeping,


he was tossing and turning and sweating and he said he was


having nightmares, but never said of what.


One weekend he'd gone out with his friends and he didn't come home,


he stayed out all night, and he was drunk when he come home


the day after. We had a big argument and I went


back up to my mum's with the kids. And then he set fire and went and


got in bed. Terry, sadly, had tried to take his


own life by burning down the house. The firemen went in and Terry


pushed them away and said, "No, I just want to go to bed.


I want to go to sleep." I was gutted that they got to me


in time. That's the way I thought


at the time. The first time I met Terry was


actually in prison. I went to visit him while he was on remand.


I wanted to get a feel of Terry, what support he needed.


Straight away I thought, "I'm wondering if this is


post-traumatic stress disorder," so we made a referral to


Combat Stress. Bad stuff happened when I was out


in Afghanistan, but at the time, you don't think


anything of it - that's just your job, it's your


day-to-day routine. With the house having some damage,


we got Danielle a new home and we helped furnish.


We didn't want to see them homeless. I also attended Terry's court date


and, sadly, he got sentenced to two years in prison,


but he put an appeal in immediately and we got Combat Stress to put in


medical reports and his sentence got halved.


British Legion's helped me, they've helped Terry, they've


helped Cameron and Holly. They've been really, really good.


Without the British Legion. I wouldn't be the person I am today,


cos I wouldn't have had the help that I've had.


They just made me and my family # Through Flanders, Portugal


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# Through Flanders, Portugal # Through Flanders, Portugal


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# Through Flanders, Portugal Yes, our thanks as always to the


Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines and to Alfie Boe, who sang earlier.


When the Legion's leaders considered their task 90 years ago,


they realised that supporting the families of those who lost a loved


one was one of their most urgent prior tis. That hasn't changed. So


as we prepare to welcome the relatives and war widows to the


Festival in this 40th anniversary year of the War Widows Association,


When I first met Daniel, it was like fireworks, really.


Butterflies were going in your stomach.


and so when Daniel first flew to Afghanistan, it was a very hard day


for all of us. And luckily, they let him go home


earlier as I was going into labour quite early.


He had tears in his eyes when Daniel was at home for 12 days


The last goodbye was very difficult but he felt he needed to be there


with his friends and colleagues. The last thing he did say to me was,


you know, "I love you, "and I'll be home in six weeks'


time, so don't worry." On the 16th of March, whilst they


was out on patrol, they came under heavy contact.


As they was moving, started moving back in, we heard the explosion.


Seconds after, we heard on the radio, "Contact IED,"


which means somebody's hit. He was double amputee and he had


a weak pulse. I was devastated.


He flew back to Birmingham hospital. He did get to hold Logan


one last time. And then he later on passed away.


I'd like Dan to be remembered as the fun-loving guy,


prankster that he was. You know, just a great, great son.


He was a great guy, a great friend of mine,


one of the best soldiers that myself, and I think nobody in the


company would disagree with me, has worked with.


I always know that he's beside me and he's watching me.


And he's watched our little boy, Tonight Emily Prior is accompanied


by Daniel's father, Ian. Tay are followed by Emily's father and


Among the group is Yvonne Cameron, whose husband, Alan, from 1st


Battalion Scots Guards died in March of this year from injuries


sustained in Afghanistan. A very warm welcome for the relatives of


On Remembrance Sunday last year, Ranger Aaron McCormick was killed.


He was 22. His mother Margaret McCormick is here today. Elizabeth


Chapman is here with daughters Chloe and Georgina. Lieutenant


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Commander Darren Chapman was killed Fourth of December was a really bad


weather day, probably the worst weather day that we had.


We were on shift as part of the immediate response team.


Unfortunately, our worst fear happened. We had a shout at night.


We received a call to go out to a gentlemen who was a member of the


Afghan national police force, who had been significantly injured.


It was very, very bad. We had no moon, so the night-vision


goggles were not working, so we couldn't see the ground.


It was very, very difficult flying. I've never flown anything


as difficult. We picked up the casualty


and then the Joint Tactical Air Controller told us


that there was another casualty needed to be picked up two miles to


the southwest of Sangin. He'd sustained injuries to his face.


He could potentially have had quite significant problems,


or loss of sight. We weren't sure if we could do it.


The visibility was getting worse and worse. I was just progressing


up the valley wall. Suddenly, the height reduced,


and at 70 feet, I just saw the ground rushing to the aircraft.


We just narrowly missed a ridge that we couldn't see.


On the climb out, we lost complete visual with the ground,


so decided to go back to Bastion. As we went back, we were already


formulating a plan on how we were going to get back into the area.


On the approach, the visibility was so bad that we actually came to the


north of Sangin, so inside Sangin town itself.


We were directly behind a place called Wombat Wood,


which is a place that used to be used by the insurgents,


so really the wrong place to be. We picked up the casualty and then


returned to Bastion. It was only on returning back to


Bastion when we actually heard the significant sighs of relief


that we'd got back safely, that we realised the gravity of the


situation we'd been encountering. Your experience, your training,


help you deal with it. And you achieved it. And the result


is, you brought someone home. Frenchie's been awarded


the Air Force Cross. It was very well deserved.


It makes me feel immensely proud that I was part of that loop


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MUSIC: "Those Magnificent Men MUSIC: "Those Magnificent Men


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Having celebrated the distinguished history of the Royal Air Force,


please welcome Flight Lieutenant Frenchie Duncan DFC, AFC,


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accompanied by one of "the few", Few institutions in the United


Kingdom have a record of unbroken service spanning more than three


centuries and none is as distinguished probably as the Royal


Hospital Chelsea home to the men and women in scarlet. The Royal


Hospital has been renewed and equipped to meet the needs of the


veterans of the 21st Century. Tonight, flanked by serving members


of the Army, the Chelsea Pensioners take their place at this Festival


and they always enjoy the warmest Michael Funnell is the eldest


pensioner tonight. Marjorie Cole is the third woman to become a Chelsea


Among them, too, 82-year-old John Eggleton, who has been an in-


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pensioner for nine years after an Improvised explosive devices


are the biggest killer of both our troops and Afghans.


We're dealing with approximately 1,000 incidents a month.


My soldiers are the actual people who, once the device is found,


will walk down to the device and make it safe.


I've always loved solving problems, and a bomb is just a problem that


I need to find the answer to. A task can take anything up to,


you know, two hours, to six hours. You don't know what to expect.


Things can change dramatically from one second to the next


so you've just got to be prepared at all times for the worst.


If we can do one IED a day, it's potentially saved one person


that day, so that's the motivation that keeps


you going. Since 2006, the Counter-Improvised


Explosive Device Task Force have had nine killed, and 50


life-changing injuries. As a regiment, we've had six killed,


with ten life-changing injuries. As a small community, we feel that.


The last fatality within the regiment was 19th of April,


Captain Lisa Head. She died in Afghanistan dealing


with a complex and tricky group of explosive improvised devices.


Lisa was incredibly bubbly. She was the life and soul of a party.


She was just an amazing person. I have immense pride with my


soldiers. I think they do an amazing job every day of the year.


All of my operators will have known someone who has passed away,


who has died doing the job, and it's a job they love doing,


# Who can say for certain # I feel you all around me


# Deep in the stillness I can hear you speak


# You're still an inspiration


# Can it be


# That you are mine


# Forever, love


# And you are watching over me from up above?


# Fly me up to where you are


# Beyond the distant star


# I wish upon tonight


# To see you smile


# If only for a while To know you're there


# A breath away's not far to where you are


# Are you gently sleeping here inside my dream?


# And isn't faith believing


# All power can't be seen?


# As my heart holds you


# Just one beat away


# I cherish all you gave me


# Every day


# Cos you are mine


# Forever, love


# Watching me from up above


# And I believe that angels breathe


# And that love will love on and never leave


# Fly me up to where you are


# Beyond the distant star


# I wish upon tonight


# To see you smile


# If only for a while To know you're there


# A breath away's not far


# To where you are


# I know you're there


# A breath away's not far


# To where you are. #








Our thanks


Our thanks to


Our thanks to Joe McElderry there. Several times in recent years one


particular news item has inspired viewers to voice their opinions


very loudly - the plight of the Gurkha veterans drew overwhelming


sympathy and support. More than 200,000 Gurkhas served in both


World Wars, eventually becoming part of the British Army. Members


of the Brigade have been awarded no fewer than 13 Victoria Crosses.


Later in the Festival, another distinguished Gurkha will be


carrying the Book of Remembrance. But now, we welcome the pipes band


and dancers of the Brigade of Gurkhas, directed by Major Vernon


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What happened all those years ago, 70 odd years ago,


is just as clear as yesterday was. The biggest battle I think


that I fought throughout the war was D-Day itself.


We got on the boat and we pulled out into Southampton Water


and all the lads up on these boats were all cheering and clapping.


It felt like coming out of the tunnel at Wembley,


playing for England and all the crowd cheering like mad.


And the emotion that I felt and all my friends felt, it took me...


it took me ten minutes to quarter of an hour to get over it.


I kept rubbing my eyes, like that. In fact, I'm doing it now.


I've got bloody tears in my eyes. I got wounded about the fifth day


after D-Day, and my mate was killed outright.


All I got was a minor wound in the foot, I was lucky.


But he was unfortunate. He copped the lot, you see.


And he was only 18. And you never forget him, no.


I live now in the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.


We all got some sort of action experience,


and it's just an absolute bond between us.


I've been here one year. I've lived on my own now for 19


years and I've got no family. This is my family now.


When I wear my poppy in November, I feel proud because I am


representing all my dead friends, and all the rest of them that


aren't my friends. It's in memory of them, and so it


should be - they gave their lot. You can't give more than that.


Wearing the poppy is a very emotional thing,


you must understand, to those of us who were there.


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# For the ones who gave # A flower tells


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# For the life you gave # Your courage


# Without demand Without demand


# For the ones so brave For the ones who saved


# Who saved This land


# Your finest hour you gave


# The sacrifice you made for us


# Your sacrifice


# We thank you


# We thank you


# Thank you


# A flower tells a simple story. #






By the


By the time


By the time the Legion came into existence in 1921 the tradition of


observing the annual two-minute silence in memory of the dead had


already been established. This great hall will fall silent tonight


once again when the poppies fall and we all remember. Our service


will begin when representatives of today's servicemen and women have


joined us and we start the Muster 42 representatives of the Royal


Navy with us tonight. They represent the ships, the submarines,


the Naval Air Squadrons, the commando units and the shore


Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval The Royal Marines joining us in the


Albert Hall. Last month, 3 Commando Brigade returned from a six-month


deployment. The Royal Naval Reserve. The Royal Marines Reserve, too.


Some 600 trained ranks in all. They assist the regular corp. We have


the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Some 18 members of the Army Muster


party tonight. The music is the give-away. F-Company Scots Guards.


Scots Guards due to deploy to Afghanistan again in October next


2Nd Battalion The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment. 11 members


led by Major James Inch based in Woolwich. Queen's Ghurkas Orderly


Officers. Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. Serving in NHS


hospitals alongside military medical teams as well in the field.


The Territorial Army. 31 members representing a very wide background


and lots of skills. 38,000 people in the UK give time to be part of


the Armed Forces Reserves, the TA the largest of all of the reserve


18 representatives in all. Drawn from a wide geographical area.


Bases at Brize Norton, Northwood, and others. The Libyan campaign led


by NATO, involvement started in February. Then there was the


British part of that NATO mission. Servicewomen of the Royal Air Force,


The Royal Air Force Police. Princess Mary's Royal Air Force


Nursing Service. Women-only until The Royal Auxiliary Air Force. Ten


representatives led by Flight Lieutenant Claire Hodges. The Royal


Air Force Volunteer Reserve with The Merchant Navy. Ten


representatives of the service whose losses and sacrifice were not


properly recognised for many years. Five Merchant Navy Veterans


accompanied by five Merchant Navy Cadets. We have Leonard Dibb-


Western, who is 86, George Wright, also 86, who survived two torpedo


The Royal British Legion and the Civilian Services. The people who


do so much of the hard work collecting money, the poppy


collectors. The appeal launched on 27th October this year, already on


target to hit the record sum of �40 million. The Civilian Services


including St John's Ambulance, the British Red Cross Society, the


Metropolitan Police bringing the On 17th of September 2010,


I was in checkpoint. Sergeant Dipprasad Pun was in


a checkpoint on the outskirts of a village called Rahim Kalay,


which had previously been a bit of a Taliban stronghold.


And suddenly I had seen the two Taliban.


What he didn't know, of course, is that what he'd seen was actually


two of a large group of Taliban who were already in position,


poised to attack him and his checkpoint.


Firing started coming from all around him.


Effectively, for the next 15 minutes or so he fought off several


waves of attack. I was thinking at that time I was


alone and there were many and they definitely...they


definitely were going to kill me. He just stood there and they were


not going to get past him, and he obviously just decided that


for himself, and he put himself in incredible


danger to be able to do that. He was awarded the Conspicuous


Gallantry Cross, which is second only to the Victoria Cross,


and an absolutely just recognition of what he did that night.


I'm really proud to be in the Gurkhas because my grandfather and


my father were also Gurkhas, and I'm really proud to get


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The service begins. Tonight's # Sing to the Lord


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# Him serve with fear # For why?


# His truth at all times # And shall


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# The God The Prayers are led by the National


Chaplain to the Royal British We are here in the presence of God


to remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives,


in world wars and conflicts past and present,


have been given and taken away in the cause of justice and freedom,


to pray for all who in bereavement, disability and pain,


continue to suffer the consequences of fighting and terror,


and for the Royal British Legion in its ministry of care and support


for them, and to commit ourselves, young and


old, to work in penitence and faith for reconciliation between the


nations of our troubled world - that, under God, people of every


race and creed may be at peace. These thoughts and prayers


we offer to God in the words Our Father who art in heaven,


Thy will be done on earth Give us this day our daily bread,


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


forever and ever.






The first


The first Reading


The first Reading from the Book of Psalms is by the First Sea Lord,


I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills - from whence cometh my help.


My help cometh even from the Lord - who hath made heaven and earth.


He will not suffer thy foot to be moved - and he that keepeth thee


will not sleep. Behold, he that keepeth Israel -


shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord himself is thy keeper -


the Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand,


so that the sun shall not burn thee by day, neither the moon by night.


The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil - yea, it is even he that


shall keep thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going


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out, and thy coming in - We give thanks for Our Sovereign


Lady, Queen Elizabeth, Patron of the Royal British Legion,


for her unstinting devotion to duty and her unswerving commitment to


the service of all her peoples. Grant that she may be so


strengthened by God's grace and guided by his spirit,


that, following in the way of Christ with her whole heart,


she may at the last come into his We pray for those upon whom the


responsibilities of government are laid, and for all who,


through positions of influence and authority,


serve the well-being of this nation, the Commonwealth and the world.


Give them the courage and integrity always to do what is right,


that upholding honour and justice, and restraining evil and oppression,


they may enrich our common life and further the cause of goodness


We commend to God the men and women who serve today in the Royal Navy,


the Army and the Royal Air Force, and all who support them


in their mission at sea, on land and in the air.


Most especially at this time we pray for Her Majesty's forces


serving in Afghanistan. May they meet danger with bravery


and, facing whatever lies before them with discipline and loyalty,


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truly serve the cause of justice, Our second hymn is a patriotic


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# And her ways 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 to ask for any reward, save that of knowing


we do your will, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.


Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.


At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.


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When you go home, tell them of us and say -


Representing the youth of Britain, we have Saffron Stringer, who is


six, Dominic Bance, who is seven. Saffron's parents are both military


musicians. They will be expressing their thanks to the national


President of the Royal British Legion on behalf of all young


We present these poppies from children, to say thank you


to all those who gave their lives Ever-living God,


we remember those whom you have gathered from the storm of war into


the peace of your presence. May that same peace calm our fears,


bring justice to all peoples, and establish harmony among the nations,


through Jesus Christ our Lord. The final hymn of this year's


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# The day thou gavest, Lord, # The voice of prayer


# So be it, Lord # Like earth's proud empires,


# Thy kingdom stands and grows forever


# Till all thy creatures own thy sway. #


# Sunset in the western sky


# Darkness falls o'er land and sea


# Praise, Lord, we raise to you


# This night and for evermore


# We think of loved ones near and far




# We think of loved ones near and far


# And those who've fought the fight before


# Keep safe your people, Lord


# This night and for evermore




# Keep safe your people, Lord


# This night and for evermore


# This night and for evermore. #




God grant


God grant to


God grant to the living grace, to the departed rest,


to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth and all people,


peace and concord, and to us and all his servants


life everlasting, and the blessing of God Almighty,


the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you


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and remain with you always. The Parade will remove head-dress.


Remove... head-dress.


Three cheers for Her Majesty the Queen. Hip, hip...


ALL: Hooray! Hip, hip...


ALL: Hooray! Hip, hip...


ALL: Hooray! Replace...


That concludes the Festival of Remembrance of 2011 and this 90th


year of the Royal British Legion who the Royal Family have


In the presence of the Queen and members of the royal family, and this year celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion, Huw Edwards presents the annual Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall.

Sir Cliff Richard, Alfie Boe, Katherine Jenkins and Joe McElderry perform alongside The Massed Bands of the Household Division, and the bands of HM Royal Marines, the Royal Air Force and the Brigade of Gurkhas to pay tribute to all victims of war and conflict.

The Festival includes the traditional two minute silence as poppy petals fall from the roof of the hall, each representing a life lost in war.

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