UK defence marks 'poignant' Remembrance Sunday

Armed Forces chief General Sir Nick Carter and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace have spoken from London.

Senior British defence figures have gathered near the Cenotaph in London for a "poignant" Remembrance service.

Remembrance Sunday events are held in the UK to commemorate the sacrifice of those who have served in the two World Wars and later conflicts, many of whom lost their lives.

General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, told Forces News the Remembrance period is "special for lots of reasons".

"It gives us the opportunity to reflect on those who sacrificed their lives and often other things as well, so that we can lead a better life,” he said.

"But, of course, what it also does is remind us that war is a truly horrific experience, and that’s something we have to keep educating people to remember, because otherwise there’s a risk it might happen again."

This year marks the first time in two years that members of the public, including serving personnel and veterans, have been able to gather in their thousands to mark the sacrifices of the war dead.

Watch: Ben Wallace gave his thoughts on Remembrance Sunday.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

"I think today will be very poignant, not only because of the break that was inflicted on everyone because of COVID, but because we’ve come to the end of Afghanistan.

"So, another conflict has effectively closed its books and for many, many veterans it’s been a very intense 20 years."

Marking the end of the Afghanistan conflict on Remembrance Sunday "brings to life new memories which our veterans will have to deal with," Mr Wallace added.

During his career in the British military, Mr Wallace served with the Scots Guards in Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus and Central America throughout the 1990s.

"When you come to Remembrance, you sort of remember your period – your time," said the Defence Secretary.