Sunday, November 12, 2006


Having made the decision to eschew a gentle stroll over Hampstead Heath and to walk to the Cenotaph, I managed to get to within 50 yards of the light grey monolith at around 10.30am. My final vantage point would have been reached earlier had it not been for the extra security measures and the sheer volume of spectators.

After the usual 2 minutes silence at 11.00am, Her Majesty the Queen laid the first wreath of poppies, followed by other members of the Royal Family, politicians, service chiefs and Commonwealth envoys. Did you see a very frail Margaret Thatcher on John Major's arm?
Above left, are the wreaths left by the Royals and to the right those left Messrs Blair, Cameron et al. Unusually, the Prime Minster of New Zealand, Helen Clark left a wreath. This followed yesterday's unveiling of a new memorial, at Hyde Park Corner, to those Kiwi's who fell in battle in the two World Wars. My favourite wreath is the one, left this year, by Margaret Beckett, on behalf of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. It's the one which includes myrtle and snowberry.

After the brief ceremony, some 8000 veterans marched past the Cenotaph to "old favourites" like "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"; "There'll always be an England", "Rule Brittania and so on. I'm eligible to march wearing my fathers medals. Something to consider next year.


Anonymous said...

I saw some young children in the papers wearing medals, they must carry a lot of history.

It must be so much more interesting to be at the Cenotaph in person, rather than watch it on TV.

David Chamberlain said...

My dad fought in 1939-45 and both grandfather's in 1914-1918. Can I wear them all (on the right)? Think I'll need a reinforced coat to carry them.