RBL OP BANNER 50NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM
The Royal British Legion has announced plans to host a commemorative event at 14:00 on Wednesday 14 August 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of the UK Armed Forces’ deployment on operations in Northern Ireland in response to growing sectarian unrest – the longest continuous operation in British military history. The event will be held at the National Memorial Arboretum, home of the Armed Forces Memorial.
Over the course of the operation, 300,000 troops were deployed to Northern Ireland supported by significant numbers of men and women from the emergency services. During that time, 1,441 UK Armed Forces personnel died, either in Northern Ireland, or because of paramilitary actions in other countries; all their names are listed on the Armed Forces Memorial.
The ceremony will be apolitical, secular and non-celebratory; appropriate in both tone and content. Centred on the Armed Forces Memorial, the ceremony will seek to honour the service and sacrifice of the relevant veterans from both the military and the emergency services. To attend, individuals must have been awarded the GSM (NI) (or civilian equivalent in the case of the emergency services).
Within the ceremony, time will be allocated to remember the 1,441 personnel killed during “The Troubles” and it is entirely appropriate that two members of each bereaved family should attend. The Legion will work with the appropriate agencies to enable their attendance. Whilst it is recognised that many other family members may wish to also attend, the primary audience for this particular ceremony is focussed on those that served on Op Banner and the attendance priority will therefore reflect that.
Please note that the Legion event at the Arboretum will be a closed, accredited event. Invitations, validation and accreditation will be managed using a similar processes used each year as part of the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph.
Members qualifying and wishing to attend should contact the Admin Director. Closing date for applications is Thursday 13 June 2019. Tickets will be sent via email in the final week of July.