London Remembrance Weekend 2017
On the 11th of November members of the Royal Observer Corps Association headed to London for the annual Parade at the Cenotaph. Many us stayed at the Victory Services Club, so we rendezvoused there for lunch. Then, as we were lucky to obtain tickets from the Royal British Legion, we made our way to the Albert Hall for the afternoon Annual Service of Remembrance. As always it was spectacular, this year they acknowledged the Centenary of women in the armed forces, the Centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein and the 75th anniversary of the founding of the RAF Regiment. To mark this, The RAF Regiment carried out their excellent display of continuity drill without commands. This year the members of the Regiment were divided equally, with one half wearing modern RAF Uniform carrying SA80 rifles, and the other in wartime Khaki uniform carrying SMLE rifles. Complete perfection.
After this we adjourned back to the VSC and enjoyed an excellent evening, joined by other members including John Sharpe, our Chairman.
The following morning, after breakfast, we made our way to Horse-guards Parade, transported by the usual free black cab rides. Once there we started to gather, with the usual banter. This year John Sharpe commented that we had an exceptional gathering, with 60 plus in the ROC column. In front of us, as usual, was the RAF Ex-Prisoners of War column. Normally we see John Nicholl, the Navigator of the first Tornado to be shot down in the First Gulf War, but also this year he was joined by John Peters his pilot, who was imprisoned with him. The march past then commenced with the salute to Her Majesty the Queen. We paraded back to Horse-guards Parade with the salute being taken there by HRH Prince Edward. After dispersing, several us made our way to the RAF Club, for a Remembrance meal organised by Rod Seibert.
Following all of this we then made our weary way home having enjoyed an excellent weekend of camaraderie.
Keith Arnold – Assistant Editor
(Most photographs with thanks to Wendy Harvey)
28 Group Arbroath, Scotland (With thanks to Cheryl Anne Stewart)
7 Group Bedford (from Michael Marks)