Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph
More than 200 serving Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines marched alongside their Army and RAF comrades at the National Act of Remembrance in Whitehall.
Nearly 750 personnel from across the three Armed Services joined veterans from conflicts past and the nation’s leaders for the high-profile ceremony at the Cenotaph.
The 101 sailors taking part in proceedings were drawn from HMS Argyll, Monmouth, Sutherland, Atherstone, Ramsey, the nation’s flagship Bulwark, sister Type 45 destroyers Daring, Dauntless and Diamond, new hunter-killer HMS Ambush and three of the four nuclear deterrence boats, Vanguard, Vengeance and Vigilant, plus all of the RN’s air stations and shore establishments, and ten-strong contingents each from the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service and the RFA.
The Band of the Royal Marines Portsmouth led the 102-strong contingent from the Corps, which was drawn mainly from 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group based in Faslane.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired their Great War-era guns on Horse Guards Parade exactly as Big Ben struck 11am, marking the start of two minutes’ silence. At the end of the Silence, Buglers of the Royal Marines sounded the “Last Post”.
The Queen laid a wreath at the Cenotaph, followed by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, and the Duke of Kent.
They were followed in turn by the Prime Minister David Cameron, representatives of other political parties, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Commonwealth High Commissioners, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas, and his counterparts as head of the Army – General Sir Nicholas Carter – and RAF – Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford. Finally, wreaths were laid by the Merchant Navy and the civilian services.
For the first time, the Government of Ireland was invited to lay a wreath at this and future years’ Remembrance Sunday ceremony in recognition of the immense contribution and shared sacrifice made by many thousands of Irishmen and women who have served in the British Armed Forces.
When all the wreaths had been laid there was a short Service conducted by the Bishop of London in his role as Dean of HM Chapels Royal before RAF trumpeters sounded Rouse (Reveille).
After 10,000 former Servicemen and women from various associations, plus 1,500 civilian associations marched past the Cenotaph and Guards Memorial.
This year, HRH The Duke of York took the Salute at Horse Guards Parade. Accompanying him was Lt Jack Cooper RN, the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson.