It is that time of year again when we all remember why we have the freedom we do. We think about the thousands of men and women that bravely gave their today for our tomorrow. We at the Royal Artillery Association and the Royal Regiment will all remember with pride those that sacrificed so much to ensure our way of life.
It is especially poignant this year due to the centenary of the Great War. To mark this occasion the Royal Artillery have put a number of projects in place to commemorate those that have gone before.
The first being the Exhibition ‘Royal Artillery in WW1 1914-1918'. This can be viewed on the 2nd Floor of Wellington Arch and we would like to thank English Heritage for allowing this to take place.
Also, personnel from The Royal Artillery, both past and present, have come together to honour all 49,076 of their fallen World War One comrades. The readings took place to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and The Master Gunner, Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory KBE CB, had the privilege of reading the first names, followed by 14 other regular, reserve and retired members of the Regiment. Further memorial readings took place in various locations across the world including Oman, Falklands, Germany, Kenya and Canada until 11th November, when the final reading of those who died on November 11th 1918 took place at the RA Service of Remembrance.
The RA Service of Remembrance, taken by The Venerable Stephen Robbins is a key event in the RA calendar and to see so many of our serving and retired Gunners coming together to pay their respects is a real show of support to the regimental family.
This year 10 Bty, 47 Regt RA & F Bty, 7 Para RHA made up the marching contingent of the parade and were exceptional in the duties. We must also mention The Royal Artillery Band and The Kings Troop RHA who do draw the crowds at any occasion and added to an already fitting ceremony.
The laying of the 1925 laurel wreath onto The Royal Artillery Memorial is a replica of the wreath lain in 1925 and the first time this has been reunited with the wooden plaque, also from the 1925, which was made from wooden crosses of the Western Front. The wreath itself is 7 foot wide and made from laurel, to symbolise victory, and roses to symbolise new life and love. The original was embedded with buttons and parts of tunics of fallen Gunners near Ypres.
Images of the 1925 dedication ceremony of Charles Jaggers' memorial are on display in our WW1 exhibition which is now open with thanks to the Royal Artillery Association.
The veterans, led out by Maj Gen Cullen CB OBE made up over 600 people present at the service, wishing to pay their respects. It truly was a moving ceremony and with The Kings Troop Trumpeters signalling the Last Post along with the RAA Standard Bearers this really did bring a sense of poignancy to the occasion!
The Regiment were also present at the Cenotaph in London with thousands of people nationwide watching and commemorating the fallen by laying their wreaths and falling silent at 11am in a show of respect and gratitude for their sacrifice.
This show of respect was backed up across the nation with the RA Association branches and regiments attending their local town services for wreath laying ceremonies in Dover, Bolton, Germany and Crete bringing a real sense of meaning to our motto ‘Ubique’
Congratulations must go to the RASM and his team for a seamless and moving service.
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