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How the nation remembered

Posted: Nov 12, 2012
Category: Events
Posted by: Admin

Nearly 10,000 veterans gathered at the Cenotaph on Whitehall yesterday, Sunday 11 November 2012, to take part in the Remembrance Sunday March Past, organised by The Royal British Legion, the National Custodian of Remembrance.

There were nine were organisations taking part for the first time in 2012 - the Fleet Air Arm Junglie Association; Association of Royal Yachtsmen; Broadsword Association; British Veterans Group; Mercian Regiment Association; Royal Scots Dragoon Guards; 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery Association; Royal Air Force Butterworth & Penang Association and the Munitions Workers Association.

The March Past was led by the Legion's Board of Trustees and the National Chairman, John Farmer. The lead 'column' this year was headed by the Royal Naval Association.

John Farmer said: "I am always honoured, as National Chairman of The Royal British Legion, to lead the thousands of heroic veterans who line Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday.
"Remembrance Sunday is the most important day in the Legion's calendar and it's a time to reflect upon the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces since the First World War right through to today. Our thoughts are, of course, with those men and women who are currently in Afghanistan, as well as the many men and women who have laid down their lives for the nation's freedom."
The National President of The Royal British Legion, Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO who laid a wreath at the Cenotaph said: "This is an opportunity to remember and honour the sacrifice of those who fought and continue to fight in Service of our nation; those who do return as well as those that do not, the families and the communities that continue to carry the burden of conflict."

On Saturday night, the Legion's Annual Festival of Remembrance took place at the Royal Albert Hall, with Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family in attendance. The Festival, hosted by BBC News presenter Huw Edwards, pays tribute to all victims of war and conflict. This year, there were performances by Rod Stewart who sang Auld Lang Syne, and X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke and Russell Watson who performed a duet.

The Overtones, Amore, Laura Wright, Jon Joe Kerr and the Military Wives Choir also performed, along with the Massed Bands of the Household, Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, The Queen's Colour Squadron and the RAF Squadronaires. (It is available to view on BBC iPlayer until 17 November.)


There were special acknowledgements of Pensioners from the Royal Hospital Chelsea and representative war widows and bereaved relatives.

As is traditional, the Festival included the traditional Two Minute Silence as poppy petals fell from the roof of the Royal Albert Hall, each representing a life lost in war.

The Legion made us of new social media technology to remind people of the Two Minutes Silence on Remembrance Day. Read the full report of how 10 million people were reached by Legion's social media Thunderclap here.

At at the UK's year round Centre of Remembrance, the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire (part of The Royal British Legion family of charities), the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester attend Service of Remembrance at the Armed Forces Memorial.

On Saturday night there was a unique 11 o'clock laser display on the London Eye.  And across the country, local acts of Remembrance took place as we remembered those lost in past and current conflicts.