Peni Qio chest tattoo

Rethinking Remembrance

Remembrance takes many forms and means something different to everyone.

On Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday we formally remember those who have sacrificed in service to their country. But for many, Remembrance can’t be limited to a single day. It’s a deeply personal act taking place throughout the year, often recognising a range of sacrifices.

Craig Daniell sat on slop

Craig Daniell

After being medically discharged from the RAF, Craig wanted a tattoo to tell the story of his life and commemorate his fallen comrades.
Craig's story

For sailors, soldiers and airmen and women who are regularly asked to sacrifice for their country, Remembrance is part of their culture.

Serving personnel don’t just remember those who’ve fallen, but commemorate the sacrifices – big and small – made by their entire community, including their families. Individuals may remember events, achievements and deployments, or recognise the military family to which they proudly belong.

In the Armed Forces, Remembrance is varied. It can range from pilgrimages to past battlefields, religious services and formal parades to individual acts and reflections on Remembrance; none more permanent than a tattoo.

Lawrence Sabatini

Lawrence Sabatini

Lawrence grew up in South Africa, joining the Army in 2005. His tattoos feature traditional symbols of Remembrance and illustrations that pay tribute to all those who have died in the service of Commonwealth countries.
Lawrence's story

Tattoos and Remembrance

Tattoos are a significant and permanent Act of Remembrance in the British Armed Forces. Inked onto the skin, they commemorate friends who have served, illustrate personal sacrifices and mark the lasting bonds formed between men and women who live, train and fight together.

Military tattoos are full of meaning and symbolism, telling stories of personal sacrifice, Remembrance and belonging. These symbols have a range of origins; some are ancient while others are new; many are timeless whereas others are specific to a generation. By deciphering the tattoos of those who serve, you will uncover personal stories of Remembrance that are as moving as they are visually beautiful.

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