WATCH: The Royal Navy's 'Arduous' Training Before Cenotaph Parade

Military personnel in Portsmouth have been rehearsing hard ahead of the big day.

The Remembrance Sunday parade past the Cenotaph is one of the most important events in the military calendar. In preparation for the big day, military personnel in Portsmouth have been rehearsing hard.

“This morning we’ve been doing box drills and we’ve been marching around with the Royal Marines band, just to get a feel on the day of what we’re going to be doing,” Leading Regulator Faye Mason of the Royal Navy police told Forces News.

Come Sunday, each and every person is expected to know the choreography and their exact positioning – all of which takes hours of practise. 

“It’s a lot of drill practise,” admitted Aircraft Engineer and Technician Kurt Nessworthy.

“You’re in and out practising eight hours a day, stood still for two hours a day. It’s a lot of work but worth it.”

Navy Cenotaph Training 081118 CREDIT BFBS
Marching might be hard but the standing still over a long period of time is "very arduous", according to WO Wearing.

The Royal Navy, Royal Marines, RFA, Royal Naval Nursing Service and Coastguard are all involved, meaning the Senior Service will be well represented.

In total three weeks have been set aside to make sure every last detail is perfect, but the biggest challenge is not the marching.

“They’ll do long standstills and it’s very arduous,” said State Ceremonial Training Officer, Warrant Officer Eddie Wearing.

“All the armchair critics… will be looking for those bits and especially people that are within my branch as well.

"Everybody’s watching and we want to make sure that the Royal Navy represents themselves in the best possible light.”

For many in the parade, the day has huge personal resonance: 

“I’ll be thinking of my great-great-uncle who died in the First World War,"  said Lieutenant Commander Michael Bray. 

"He was missing 3 May 1917 at the second Battle of Arras. So I’ll be thinking about him and what he gave for our freedom.”

Michael Barry's Great Grandfather 081118 CREDIT BFBS
Michael Barry will be thinking of his Great Grandfather during Sunday's service.

Given the significance of the this year's centenary, a commemorative coin has been issued to all Royal Navy personnel taking part.

The coin was paid for by Greenwich Hospital – the Royal Navy’s oldest charity – and the charity hopes to it will become something of a tradition. 

Commemorative Cenotaph Coin 081118 CREDIT BFBS
Rear Admiral Jerry Kyd came to Portsmouth to hand out the coin to participants.

“The idea has come from within Navy Command Headquarters,” said Kim Richardson from Greenwich Hospital.

“I think it’s been sort of rumbling along for a little while and sometimes you just need a little bit of funding behind it to make it work.

"It’s a hundred years, so it’s a good time to start doing it.

"We’ve decided that we will start doing this year on year so this is our first.”