The Duke of Gloucester led commemorations of Armistice Day earlier this morning, by attending a Remembrance Service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The event was attended by over 400 people, including veterans of WWII and of all conflicts since, and family members of service men and women who have lost their lives.
The Service of Remembrance to mark Armistice Day took place within the walls of the Armed Forces Memorial, the highest point of the arboretum. It is specially designed so that at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – when the ceasefire of WWI took effect – at the point of the two-minute silence, a shaft of sunlight dissects the memorial’s inner and outer walls, illuminating the central bronze wreath sculpture.
After the Duke’s arrival, a two minutes’ silence was observed, before Prince Richard led representatives of each branch of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, the Royal British Legion, the Arboretum, government ministers and other dignitaries, in laying wreaths to remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
‘Jerusalem’ by William Blake and ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’ by William Whiting were the two hymns sung at the service.
Her Majesty’s cousin then read John 15: 9-17: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
The Duke of Gloucester was wearing his Royal Air Force uniform.
Following the service, the Duke – youngest grandchild of George V – inspected the Armed Forces Memorial, and viewed recently added names, before other members of the congregation laid their own wreaths on the memorial.
A parade consisting of serving members of the Armed Forces and many veterans then took place.
Armistice Day marks the anniversary of the end of the Great War (WWI), 99 years ago. But it also commemorates the sacrifice of soldiers in all conflicts.
Tomorrow, on Remembrance Sunday, The Prince of Wales will lead the nation in remembrance by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh watching the service from the Foreign Office balcony, with The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne and Sir Tim, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and The Duke of Kent.