Guardian News and Media/London
Thousands of veterans marched past the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday as the nation paid its respects to the fallen of past conflicts.
The Queen led commemorations at the memorial to “The Glorious Dead” in Whitehall, while services were held at churches, war memorials and cemeteries across the country.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn joined other party leaders in laying wreaths on the 100th anniversary of the first Remembrance Day in 1919.
They stood with heads bowed as Big Ben struck 11am, and a two-minutes’ silence was marked by the firing of a gun by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery and a bugler’s Last Post.
The Prince of Wales laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen, who watched the ceremony from a balcony overlooking the memorial first unveiled by George V in 1919.
After the service, a large crowd cheered as veterans, and others involved in armed service personnel organisations and charities, performed the traditional march past. Some used wheelchairs, mobility scooters or walking sticks and were well into their 10th decade. But, medals glinting in the autumnal sunshine, they passed the Cenotaph and saluted, eyes left.
Ron Freer, 104, from Kent, was thought to be the oldest veteran taking part in the march past. Before the ceremony, he said he felt “hugely honoured” and planned to march alongside 100 other blind veterans.
The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans said London cabbies had made more than 1,000 free taxi journeys as part of the Poppy Cabs initiative, which helps with veterans travel in the capital funded by the drivers themselves.
Five former prime ministers – Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May – were among those who paid tribute. They joined senior military leaders, faith community leaders and representatives of other Commonwealth nations.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, a World War II veteran who served with the navy and was mentioned in dispatches for his part in the Battle of Cape Matapan, was not present. He retired from official royal engagements two years ago.
The dukes of Cambridge and Sussex laid their own wreaths as their wives watched from nearby balconies along with other members of the royal family. The march-past salute was taken by the Duke of York, who was accompanied by the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace.
For the first time, the ambassador of Nepal placed a wreath in honour of the contribution the Gurkha regiments made to Britain’s military campaigns.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
‘We have work to do’: World's youngest leader debuts at EU summit
France to take 400 asylum-seekers from Greece
Prime minister heads for Brexit election win in tightening race
NZ volcano still too dangerous to remove bodies
France PM makes concessions to striking workers
Climate activist Greta Thunberg named Time’s Person of the Year
Climate pledges ‘misleading’, Greta tells UN forum
French PM defies unions with pension overhaul, they pledge more strikes
Greta slams 'misleading' climate pledges at chaotic UN summit