The National Act of Remembrance was held at the Cenotaph on Sunday 9th November.
Serving detachments from all three services marched from Wellington Barracks to the Cenotaph in Whitehall where they formed a hollow square for the nation’s most solemn annual event. Troops were provided by the Royal Navy, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles, 7 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, the Adjutant General’s Corps, and the Royal Air Force. The Pipes and Drums were provided by the 4th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The massed bands of the Household Division included the Band of the Grenadier Guards, Band of the Coldstream Guards, Band of the Scots Guards and the Band of the Irish Guards. They performed a sombre, deeply emotive programme of music, directed by the Senior Director of Music Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Hopla.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired their First World War era guns on Horse Guards Parade exactly as Big Ben struck 11 O’Clock, marking the start of a two minutes’ Silence. At the end of the Silence, Buglers of the Royal Marines sounded the “Last Post”.
HM The Queen lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, followed by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, HRH The Duke of York, HRH The Earl of Wessex, and HRH The Duke of Kent, who each laid a Wreath. They were followed in turn by the Prime Minister David Cameron, representatives of other political parties, the Foreign Secretary, the Commonwealth High Commissioners, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas, General Sir Nicholas Carter Chief of the General Staff, and Air Chief Marshall 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 Irish men 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. After the Service, Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force sounded “Rouse” (Reveille).
After the ceremony a march past the Cenotaph and Guards Memorial of the ex-Service and Civilian Associations took place. 10,000 ex-Service men and women and 1,500 civilians participated this year. This year, HRH The Duke of York took the Salute at Horse Guards Parade. Accompanying him was Lieutenant Jack Cooper RN,the Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP and Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson.