This is my first Festival of Remembrance as your National President, and it’s a huge privilege to join you in honouring our Armed Forces community.

For more than a century, the poppy has been an enduring symbol of Remembrance and support for our Armed Forces community. This year, the Royal British Legion is incredibly proud to launch its new plastic-free poppy, made entirely from paper, and it is wonderful to see so many people wearing theirs with pride.

This Festival, we pay tribute to the two million National Servicemen who served in the post-war years up until 1963. Hundreds lost their lives, particularly during the Korean War, and we mark 70 years since the end of the fighting.

We also acknowledge the unique contribution of the Windrush Generation, 75 years after the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush, which is symbolic for the settlers from the Caribbean who helped rebuild Britain. We honour too those who served in the Battle of the Atlantic 80 years ago, the longest campaign of the Second World War.

As exemplified by the participants of the Invictus Games, we also salute the courage and resilience of those fighting back from horrible injury or vulnerability and of the families, friends and carers alongside them. Finally, as we celebrate the bravery, dedication and service of our Armed Forces, we remember the fallen, those who have suffered and the families still grieving.

Your support remains as vital as ever. Thank you so much.

Vice Admiral Sir Clive Johnstone KBE CB

Clive Johnstone- sig CO

Presented by Clare Balding CBE, the Festival will feature

  • The Orchestra of the Household Division 
  • The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra  
  • String Ensemble of the Royal Marines Band Service  
  • The Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra 

Under the direction of 

  • Lieutenant Colonel David Barringer MBE, Commanding Officer, The Bands of the Household Division 

The Festival Chorus

  • The Bach Choir 

The Service, led by 

  • Reverend Scott Brown CBE, National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion 
Clare Balding

Clare Balding CBE

Clare is an award-winning broadcaster and author. She has worked on every Olympic Games since 1996 and every Paralympics since 2000. Clare won BAFTA’s Special Award for her work on London 2012 and continues to present major events in sport, factual documentaries and Royal events, including commentary of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for BBC One. A passionate campaigner for equality and women’s sport, Clare is also a best-selling author of numerous books and children’s novels. Clare was awarded a CBE for her services to sport and charity, which she was honoured to receive at Buckingham Palace in December 2022.
Festival of Remembrance 2018 trumpeter

The Programme

Follow the programme and performances as they happen.

Entry of the Standards

  • Represented Standard Bearers of the Royal British Legion 

Cadet Banner Bearers 

  • Sea Cadet Corps Banner 
  • Combined Cadet Corps Banner
  • Army Cadet Force Banner
  • Air Training Corps Banner

Ex-Service Associations’ Standard Bearers

  • Royal Naval Association
  • Royal Air Force Association
  • Royal Marines Association
  • Artillery Clerks’ Association
  • British Korean Veterans’ Association
  • National Service Veterans’ Association
  • Royal Tank Regiment
  • Fighting With Pride 

The Entry of the Standards will be accompanied by organist Peter Crompton

Royals MA Festival of Remembrance

Arrival of Their Majesties The King and Queen

Royal Fanfare by the State Trumpeters of the Household Division under the direction of Trumpet Major Julian Sandford.
Royal Marine Band

The Tri-Service Drummers perform On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Remembering National Service and the Korean War

Some of the service personnel who served in the Korean War share their experiences at the Festival: Brian Parritt, Mike Mogridge and Colin Thackery joined by Brian Hamblett, Trevor John, Ken Keld, Tony White and Ron Yardley.

This year marks 70 years since fighting in the Korean War came to an end. The Korean War (1950–1953) saw British and Commonwealth forces answer the call of the United Nations to support South Korea, which had been invaded by its neighbour to the north. Altogether, some 81,000 members of the British Armed Forces served. Casualty rates were high, with more than 1,100 British killed and 2,500 wounded.

Ken Keld National Service
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“My MBE is for those in the cemetery”

The 1947 National Service Act (implemented in 1949) meant that men aged 18 to 26 were required to serve in the Armed Forces. More than two million served in the UK and around the world. They included Ken Keld, who served in the Army in the Korean War:

“We went to Japan on HMT Asturias, then straight to Korea. The first thing we saw when we docked in Pusan was a train with large red crosses on the carriages. In May 1953, we took part in the Third Battle of The Hook. We had no idea what to expect and our first thoughts were that we were being sent to death row. I had never experienced anything like it and very much hope I never will again. I’ll never forget the collapsed fighting pits and bunkers due to the heavy bombardment. Most of all, the stench of decaying flesh from buried limbs and bodies has stayed with me.

I remained in Korea until after the ceasefire. Then, in November 1953, I left for Gibraltar, where I completed my National Service.

I was at the National Service 60th anniversary event at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on 16th May. It brought home to lots of people what National Service in Korea was about. I’ll be 90 in March and I’m one of the fortunate ones – I can still have a normal life.

Since 1979, I’ve helped to support other British Korean War veterans, and I’m being awarded an MBE for my services next month. It’s an honour for me and my family and for the regiment, but most of all, it’s for those left in Korea – the ones in the cemetery. What I’ve done and what I still do is to make sure they aren’t forgotten.”

Richard Vaughan 2-04 edit
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“It was a bit of an adventure”

The Royal British Legion’s National Service 60 event recognised and paid tribute to the service and sacrifice of the National Service generation. In total, 395 National Servicemen were killed during active service, many losing their lives in the Korean War. Names of the National Servicemen who were killed are among the 16,000 inscribed on the Armed Forces Memorial at the Arboretum.

One of the veterans attending the event was Richard Vaughan, and the 16th May date is relevant to his story. By the late 1950s, Britain’s military needs had changed and the requirement for conscription was reassessed. Numbers of servicemen conscripted were drastically reduced until 1960. Richard was among the last intake of National Servicemen, joining the Royal Army Pay Corps and serving in Germany. When his service came to an end, he requested to be demobbed in England and travelled back to Gatwick Airport in his uniform.

Richard was officially demobbed on 16th May, 1963 and was the very last National Serviceman. Looking back, Richard says: “It was a bit of an adventure.”

Mike Hyde 1_Cyprus 1956 at RAF Nicosia 2_with Watch Crew wearing cap leaning on post
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“It makes me feel that I’m part of something still”

Mike Hyde’s National Service was in the RAF: “I started my basic training at Hednesford, Staffordshire, in November 1955. It was cold, damp and miserable, but we all got on very well.

Dealing with a rifle while wearing woolly gloves is not easy, and when we were rehearsing for the passing-out parade eight weeks later, I committed the sin of dropping mine. I was taken to one side and told I was going to be the right marker for the parade – this meant that if I didn’t do it right, everyone else got their actions wrong. But I managed it.

Next, I trained as a radar operator and was posted to RAF Stanmore, where we plotted all the aircraft coming and going. In the summer of 1956, the Suez campaign started and we were needed in Nicosia, Cyprus, to plot aircraft in and out of Egypt.

After that, I was posted to RAF Bawdsey in Suffolk, where I spent my final months of service. We lived in chalets, so it was a bit like a holiday camp – but it wasn’t without incident. The Air Officer Commanding (AOC) does an annual inspection and I was selected to take part in his Guard of Honour. At the rehearsal, it was cold, and my hands were in woolly gloves again. You can imagine what happened: I dropped my rifle for the second time in my career. I had to report to the Guard room, put all my kit on and be smart and polished. I passed, so no charge was made.

Now, I help to run the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire branch of the National Service (RAF) Association. It makes me feel that I’m part of something still.”

National Service 60 - IMG-20220417-WA0001
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“My only regret was missing my son’s birth”

“I received my call-up papers for the Royal Navy in June 1955,” says Mike Bell. “I started my training at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall, but I didn’t complete it – I got drafted to join a Motor Torpedo Boat squadron in Malta because they were short of mechanics. I had already met my wife Marion – we got married on 3rd March, and three weeks later, on 24th March, I got on an aeroplane and I was away for more than a year.

When I arrived, I had to go down to the engine room straight away. There were three big Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, as well as torpedoes and guns. I was experienced in mechanical things as I’d been to technical college and I’d worked as an engineer on a farm, then for a drilling company, but it was just me down there in control.

While I was in Malta, the Suez Crisis began and we helped the Royal Marines with beach landings and recovery. It all had to be done very fast to rescue them.

My only regret from my time in National Service was missing my son’s birth – when I was demobbed and I returned to England, he was five months old. It was very odd to meet him for the first time.

When I was in my late 20s, I joined the Merchant Navy and stayed for eight years. Today I’m Secretary of my local Royal Naval Association in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. I’m very proud to have been in the Navy. I liked the camaraderie and that still exists today.

Remembering National Service on its 60th anniversary is an excellent idea. It’s very important to have these kinds of events to mark what we did and for comradeship and friendship.”

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“To get a medal is some form of recognition”

Nuclear-test veteran Roger Grace was deployed to the Montebello Islands, Western Australia in 1956, during his National Service. Last November, the Prime Minister announced that military, civilian and overseas staff and personnel like Roger who participated in Britain’s nuclear-testing programme in the 1950s and 1960s would have their unique contribution officially recognised with the award of a Nuclear Test Medal. The medals are being presented to service personnel over the coming months. Roger remembers his experience:

“The tests were carried out on two 100-feet-high towers, so there was a lot of construction work to be done. The Royal Engineers had to build equipment to set off the tests by remote control and record the explosions. The first test seemed insignificant, but for the second, we were told we were going to be 12 miles away.

“We all mustered on the ship’s upper deck in shorts and shirt – no protective clothing. We had our backs to the detonation and hands over our eyes. Then there was a countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, boom! The flash was so bright you could see the bones in your hands and the heat was as if an electric fire was being held to the back of your neck. The blast took your clothes out as if you were in a gale. After eight seconds, we were allowed to turn around and look at the mushroom cloud.

“I would never like to see an atomic bomb used, but I feel proud that I was involved in a very small way in producing our UK deterrent. I also feel very lucky – a lot of people involved in the tests died in their early 50s and 60s.

“To get a medal is some form of recognition. I’d like to thank the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association and LABRATS International, which worked on our behalf to get this approved.”

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Soldiers in action - Korean War
Mike Hyde in Red Arrow Gnat at Trenchard Museum 2015
Mike Hyde sitting in a Red Arrows Folland Gnat at the Trenchard Museum based at RAF Halton
Ken Keld enlistment notice
Ken’s National Service enlistment papers from 1952
Mike Bell RN NS with beard V2
Mike Bell (right) with shipmates during his National Service
Richard Vaughan (centre)
35_85mm Nuclear Test Medal V3
Nuclear Test Medal
Colin Thackery at Camilla's 75th

Colin Thackery performs Arirang

Korean War veteran and Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery, aged 93, served in the Royal Artillery for 25 years. Following his success in winning Britain’s Got Talent in 2019, he released hit album Love Changes Everything. His numerous TV and live appearances include fundraising events for the Royal British Legion, such as Poppies on the Prom. This year, Colin sang at two major events in South Korea during the 70th anniversary commemorations for the armistice of the Korean War. He performed in front of the South Korean president, delighting the audience by singing in English and Korean.
Chelsea Pensioners

Entrance of the In-Pensioners from the Royal Hospital Chelsea

Music: The Boys of the Old Brigade
Band of the RAF Regiment (002)

RAF display

The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment performs Blue Devils, Lincolnshire Poacher, Out of the Blue, Swing, Swing, Swing (It Don’t Mean a Thing/Sing, Sing, Sing), RAF March Past

Mica Paris performs (Something Inside) So Strong, accompanied by the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir

Mica Paris had her first top-ten hit, My One Temptation, at age 18. She went on to make eight albums, including Gospel, which was released to critical acclaim in December 2020 and shot to number one in the Official UK Hip Hop and R&B Albums Chart. In 2020, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to music, entertainment and charity. Her recent acting roles include playing Ellie Nixon in EastEnders. Her version of Labi Siffre’s (Something Inside) So Strong is one of the tracks from her album Gospel.

Windrush 75: Their lasting legacy

The Windrush Generation helped rebuild Britain in the post-war decades. We mark their service 75 years after the ship HMT Empire Windrush crossed the Atlantic.

During the Second World War, some 16,000 Black Caribbean men and women volunteered to serve. After the end of the war, around 3,000 decided to stay and help rebuild Britain. During the post-war years in the Caribbean, unemployment and economic difficulties led many others to reconsider their future and look to the UK, where there were major labour shortages.

The passengers who disembarked HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks on 22nd June, 1948 became symbolic of the generation of Caribbean men and women who settled in the UK over the post-war years and who played a key role in reshaping British identity and culture. More than 100 of the passengers on the Empire Windrush were current or former Caribbean Armed Forces personnel. Many more settlers went on to serve in the Armed Forces, while others joined the newly founded NHS.

This year, the Royal British Legion has partnered with the National Windrush Museum to celebrate the connections between the Armed Forces and the Windrush Generation and their descendants. These individuals have often faced obstacles in the UK beyond the challenges of their jobs, and we continue to honour them and help tell their stories.


Joshua Westmaas_DE

Keeping it in the family

One of the young men on board Empire Windrush was Joshua Westmaas, aged 28, from the mainland Caribbean country British Guiana (now Guyana). When he arrived in London, his first digs were in an air-raid shelter under Clapham South tube station that had been converted to provide temporary housing and food. Two weeks later, Joshua found a flat on the Old Kent Road and became a car mechanic. He would eventually work as a chauffeur for the British High Commission to Ghana.

This wasn’t the first time Joshua had been to the UK – he had already volunteered to serve in the Second World War, as had five of his cousins – brothers Denis, Douglas, Donald, David and Rory. Later, some of the family would settle in the UK as part of the Windrush Generation.

The brothers’ father George had married Winifred in 1910 and they raised a total of eight boys in Georgetown, British Guiana. Denis, the eldest of the brothers, joined the Army along with Douglas. Donald joined the Home Guard in London, and both David and Rory joined the RAF, together with their cousin, Joshua. Although Rory was the youngest, he was also the tallest and lied about his age – when he enlisted in 1940, he was only 14.

Brothers Patrick, Leonard and Rupert remained in British Guiana during the war, but each held a position that contributed to the war effort, with Patrick working for one of the leading sawmills that provided much-needed lumber. His son Rod says: “My family was regarded in British Guiana as the family that contributed most to the Second World War, both in their individual contributions and collectively. They used to be called The Band of Brothers.”

On 14th February, 1942, Douglas, aged 23, was serving in the Royal Signals. He was killed when his ship was torpedoed off the coast of Singapore, just before the city fell to the Japanese.

At the end of the war, both Rory and his cousin Joshua returned to British Guiana, but in 1948, Joshua travelled back to the UK on Empire Windrush. In 1955, after becoming disillusioned with his membership of the People’s Progressive Party in British Guiana, Rory left the party and decided to return to the UK too, going on to become a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a professor of architecture and a town planner.

Rod arrived in the UK with his parents in 1958, at the age of two. As part of the Windrush Generation, he is immensely proud of his family’s legacy. “It gave me a sense of belonging, of contribution,” he says. “Whenever celebrations of their achievements come around, I proudly represent them, and I feel that never shall we forget.”

Sue Liburd 2

A story that needed to be told

When Sue Liburd was considering a career, her first instinct was to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Linda Monica, who worked as a nurse. Linda, part of the Windrush Generation, had come to the UK from Jamaica in an NHS recruitment drive.

Sue trained as a Registered General Nurse, a Registered Mental Health Nurse and a Registered Midwife, but in 1987, she decided to go into the Armed Forces. Her father, Austin Franklin, had come to the UK from the Caribbean island of Nevis as part of the National Service recruitment drive and served in the RAF as a Vehicle and Mechanical-Equipment Technician. At the end of his National Service, he decided to remain, and by the time of his death in 1974, he was a Sergeant.

“I’d grown up in the Armed Forces, and my younger brother, Michael, now a Falklands veteran, was serving in the Royal Navy,” says Sue. “But I wanted to make my own mark, and I thought, ‘We haven’t had a Liburd in the British Army, so that’s the one for me.’”

Sue was commissioned into the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps and served for seven years. When she left in 1994, she held the rank of Captain. Today, Sue works in various roles, including Deputy Chair of the NHS England Armed Forces Public Patient Voice Advisory Group, where she aims to “help the NHS understand the needs of specific communities – ethnic minorities and women who have served in the Armed Forces”.

Sue is also a Director of the National Windrush Museum, which she has been involved in since its inception two years ago. “The Home Office passport and residency scandal in 2018 profoundly upset me,” she says. “It exposed how little some people in Britain understood about the contribution of people from the Caribbean, and also how they didn’t recognise that we were invited, so I felt our story needed to be told.” 

The National Windrush Museum is now documenting the impact that Caribbean migration has had on Britain by highlighting the achievements and contributions of Windrush pioneers, including their predecessors as well as their descendants.

“It’s really important that the next generation is seeing imagery of Black people who have served so they can say, ‘Actually, this is my culture, this is my history.’”

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HMT Empire Windrush
Rory Westmaas in uniform-GREY
Rory enlisted in the RAF in 1940 when he was 14, lying about his age as he was very tall
Thousands of men and women from the Caribbean moved to the UK during the post-war decades
Sue Liburd 1
Captain Sue Liburd at the British Military Hospital, Iserlohn, Germany, in 1992
4 Westmaas brothers l_r David Donald Denis Rory-GREY
Westmaas brothers David, Donald, Denis and Rory all served in the Second World War
Sue Liburd 3
Sue Liburd was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to business, charities & voluntary orgs

Invictus Games

Chris Anslow | Clare Gibson | Allan McSween 

Sigma - COLOUR 2

Sigma perform Adrenaline Rush featuring Morgan, to accompany dancers from Stopgap Dance Company

Double Brit Award-nominated drum-and-bass DJ duo and producer Sigma (aka Cam Edwards and Joe Lenzie) have had two UK number-one singles, which were both certified double platinum. They released their debut studio album Life in 2015, which achieved gold-certification status. The duo have collaborated with many music artists and played sold-out shows at festivals and venues across the globe. They were the first drum-and-bass act ever to headline the Royal Albert Hall, where they return today to perform Adrenaline Rush, released earlier this year.

"It's been epic"

This year’s Invictus Games was a triumph for all involved, from the participants achieving personal bests to the people cheering them on.

The Invictus Games is an inclusive multi-sport event that brings together wounded, injured and sick veterans and serving personnel from across the globe. Established by the Duke of Sussex in 2014, the event focuses on sport to support physical and mental recovery and instil confidence and self-belief.

The Royal British Legion has been at the forefront of recovery through sport since it founded the Battle Back centre in 2011, which helps hundreds of people every year through adaptive sports, adventurous training courses and wellbeing initiatives. So the charity was ideally placed to partner with the Ministry of Defence for the 2023 Invictus Games. The RBL has helped the friends and families of participants since 2016, and this year took on a far greater role, becoming responsible for the full delivery of Team UK to Düsseldorf in September. The charity has also committed to supporting Team UK once again in Canada in 2025.

Supporting Team UK

Team UK’s 59 participants were selected in February. The RBL set up training camps and coaching for each of the ten sports, including athletics and powerlifting, and accompanied the athletes to Germany. Recovery-support staff were available for mentoring, and the RBL continued to assist friends and family as well as provide welfare support, ensuring everyone involved could benefit from the experience.

And what an event it was. Members of Team UK gave their all in front of a cheering crowd. For RAF veteran and amputee Rich Davies, who competed in archery and swimming and won four gold medals, it was a chance to thank his wife and children for their support. “It’s for my family. I want to show my kids that everything is still possible.”

Kelly McVitty, who was medically discharged from the RAF due to a debilitating nerve injury, echoes this sentiment: “It’s so inspiring. It’s about showing the world what you can do in spite of your disability. Amazingly, I got myself a gold medal [in women’s 50m breaststroke, as well as two for cycling]. I’m chuffed to bits. Just to have the support of friends and family – they are the backbone, and without them, we would not be here.”

Personal achievements

Camaraderie and friendship were also paramount. “We’ve really bonded as a team. We’ve got each other’s backs and I couldn’t be any more grateful for them,” says former RAF Logistician Lynsey Kelly, who took part in swimming and archery. “Being out here, centre stage, showcasing that I’ve been able to achieve something: it’s phenomenal. I don’t often say I’m proud of myself, but today I got three personal bests, and I’m really proud.”

Army veteran Scott Robertson, who was diagnosed with complex PTSD, made it through to the semi-finals in sitting volleyball, and perfectly sums up the spirit of Invictus: “Just being here and even getting through to a bronze-medal match and losing – to me, it doesn’t matter. It just matters that I’ve had this experience with these amazing men and women. It’s been epic. Being able to walk out in front of a crowd – that was so difficult even just a week ago, but I can do it now because I’ve gained such confidence from being here. I can clap and I can cheer, and I can semi-cope with the noise, and that’s what this recovery is all about.”

Royal Navy veteran Kenetha ‘Frankie’ Franklyn achieved her personal best in indoor rowing: “I came here to do my best and I did just that. I want everyone to know that limitation is just a word. Surround yourself with supportive people. The RBL team, my Team UK – we are family.”

Tribute to the Bereaved

Remembering Corporal Matthew Cornish 

Members of the Cornish family speak about Corporal Matthew Cornish 

Bach Choir 2023

Entrance of the Bereaved Families

Independent UK chorus The Bach Choir is renowned for performing the very best in choral music since 1876. The choir performs regularly in London’s top concert halls and churches, with the world’s leading orchestras and soloists. Its wide repertoire ranges from Bach, Mozart and Verdi to today’s contemporary composers. Part of the choir’s charitable aim is to add to the choral tradition for future generations. Now directed by David Hill MBE, its musical directors have included Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sir David Willcocks, and the common thread has been the passion and pursuit of excellence.  

Katie Melua - PRESS SHOOT 24

Katie Melua performs Fields of Gold

One of Britain’s most successful music artists, Katie Melua has sold in excess of 11 million albums and received more than 56 platinum awards. Georgia-born Katie has released eight UK top-ten albums, enchanting audiences worldwide with her uniquely powerful and captivating voice, flawless performances and charming personality. Katie’s latest album, Love & Money, is out now. Fields of Gold was originally written and recorded by Sting in 1993.

Battle of the Atlantic

A special tribute to veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic:  

Tony Cash | John Davies | Robert Hardy | Dennis Jones |

Christian Lamb | Ron Quested 


The Band of His Majesty's Royal Marines perform Shiver Me Timpanis

Alfie Boe - IMG 3638 CO

Drum Laying: Alfie Boe performs Bring Him Home

British tenor and actor Alfie Boe is one of the best-loved vocalists of his generation. His success includes two UK number-one albums with singer Michael Ball – Together and Together Again. His latest album, Open Arms – The Symphonic Songbook, sees him adapt some of rock’s finest tracks. In musical theatre, Alfie is best known for performing as hero Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, both in the West End and on Broadway. Bring Him Home is one of the hit songs from the show.


  • Muster: The Royal Navy

HMS Heron, HMS Seahawk, HMS Drake, HMS Excellent, HMS Collingwood, HMS Raleigh, 815 Naval Air Squadron, 825 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Nelson, MIXG, CSF, HMS Neptune, HMNB Devonport, HMNB Portsmouth, Institute of Naval Medicine, Submarine Service

  • Muster: The Army

Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards, 9 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, Army Legal Service, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC), 256 Field Hospital, 21st Signal Regiment, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, The Queen’s Own Yeomanry

  • Muster: The Royal Air Force

RAF High Wycombe, RAF Coningsby, RAF Brize Norton, 612 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, The King’s Colour Squadron, RAF Cranwell, RAF Halton, RAF Honington, RAF Leeming, RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Marham, RAF Northolt, RAF Odiham, RAF Waddington, RAF Wittering, RAF Wyton, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, RAF Volunteer Reserve, University Air Squadron

  • Muster: Merchant Navy

  • Muster: Royal British Legion 

Poppy Collectors, RBL Volunteers, Poppy Factory, Royal British Legion Industries 

  • Muster: Civilian Services

Police Service, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, The British Red Cross, St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid, Defence Medical Welfare Services, HM Prison Service, Greenfinches 

Book of Remembrance on top of drums

Book of Remembrance

The Jones Family, PO Stuart Jones, Carina, Hanna and Alice 

Accompanied by recently reunited Royal Navy families


Calum Scott performs You Are The Reason

With his 2018 debut album Only Human, UK-based singer/songwriter Calum Scott landed at number one in the iTunes album chart, and it was certified platinum or gold in more than 20 countries. Only Human includes his hit You Are The Reason. Calum’s songs have appeared on many TV shows, including American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy, and he has performed in person on programmes including Good Morning America and Dancing With The Stars.

Reflection on Remembrance

Second World War Merchant Navy veteran Ron Quested 

Windrush descendant Rev Michael King 

Army LGBT+ Network Sgt Sarah O’Connor 

Daughter of Corporal Matthew Cornish, Libby Cornish 

Festival of Remembrance 2020

The Service

Follow the Festival of Remembrance service


    Dear Lord and Father of Mankind 

    Words by John Whittier and music by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry 

    Dear Lord and Father of mankind,  

    Forgive our foolish ways! 

    Re-clothe us in our rightful mind,  

    In purer lives Thy service find, 

    In deeper reverence, praise. 


    Drop Thy still dews of quietness,  

    Till all our strivings cease; 

    Take from our souls the strain and stress,  

    And let our ordered lives confess 

    The beauty of Thy peace. 


    Breathe through the heats of our desire  

    Thy coolness and Thy balm; 

    Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;  

    Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire, 

    O still, small voice of calm! 

    The Bidding Prayer 

      Led by Reverend Scott Brown CBE, National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion 

      Malakai_©Craig Gibson_2

      Malakai Bayoh performs Pie Jesu

      Chorister Malakai began singing at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, at the age of seven, encouraged to audition by his mother, Magdalene, an NHS nurse. He first hit the headlines in April this year when, at the age of 13, he performed the Andrew Lloyd Webber version of Pie Jesu on ITV show Britain’s Got Talent. His angelic performance secured him a record deal with Universal Music, and his debut album Golden, recorded with the London Mozart Players, held the number-one spot of the Official Classical Artist Albums Chart for three consecutive weeks.

      The Exhortation 

      • Recited by National President Vice Admiral Sir Clive Johnstone KBE CB 

      They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old, 

      Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 

      At the going down of the sun, and in the morning 

      We will remember them.  

      ALL: We will remember them. 

      The Last Post

      Two Minute Silence

      • Silence is observed while the poppy petals fall. 


      The Dedication

      • Led by National President Vice Admiral Sir Clive Johnstone KBE CB

      When you go home tell them of us and say:  

      For your tomorrow we gave our today. 


      • The Bach Choir and Buglers from The Band of His Majesty's Royal Marines 

      The Blessing

      • Led by Reverend Scott Brown CBE, National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion 

      The National Anthem

      God save our gracious King! 

      Long live our noble King! 

      God save the King! 

      Send him victorious, 

      Happy and glorious, 

      Long to reign over us, 

      God save the King. 


      National President  

      Vice Admiral Sir Clive Johnstone KBE CB 


      National Chair 

      Jason Coward 


      National Vice Chair  

      Lynda Atkins 


      Director General 

      Charles Byrne 


      RBL Festival Executive Producer 

      Gary Ryan 


      RBL Festival Producer 

      Philippa Rawlinson 


      Festival Musical Director 

      David Cole MVO OBE RM 


      Festival Assistant Musical Director 

      Simon Haw MBE 


      Creative Director, BBC Events 

      Claire Popplewell 


      BBC Executive Producer 

      Leanne Witcoop 


      BBC Festival Producer 

      Rosheen Archer 


      Royal Albert Hall Chief Executive 

      James Ainscough 


      More about Remembrance

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