Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry Open Field of Remembrance
Thursday, 10th November 2016
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales opened the Royal British Legion's 88th Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 10th November 2016.
Their Royal Highnesses arrived at the Field of Remembrance, on the Abbey's North Green, shortly before 11.00am and were greeted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, and the Rector of St Margaret’s Church, Canon Jane Sinclair.
Prayers were led by the Dean, who said:
For the 88th time at the Field of Remembrance we meet again to remember those who gave their lives in the conflicts of our time, that we might enjoy freedom and peace.
The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry planted crosses of remembrance in front of two wooden crosses from the Graves of Unknown British Soldiers from the First and Second World Wars.
Last Post was sounded from the parapet of St Margaret’s Church by a bandsman of the Coldstream Guards and the Exhortation of Remembrance was said by Mrs Sarah Jones, President of the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory, before an observance of two minutes' silence at 11.00am. Mrs Jones is the widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert ('H') Jones, VC, OBE who was awarded the Victoria Cross after being killed in action during the Battle of Goose Green where he was commanding officer of 2 Battalion, Parachute Regiment during the Falklands War.
After the silence Their Royal Highnesses toured the plots of poppy crosses meeting veterans, representatives of organisations involved in conflict, and members of the public, who have planted a cross in memory of their fallen comrades and loved ones.
After the tour Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to St Margaret's Church by the Dean and the Rector of St Margaret’s, who invited them to sign the Distinguished Visitors' Book and presented: the Reverend Ralph Godsall, Priest Vicar; the Reverend Garry Swinton, Priest Vicar; The Reverend Fiona Stewart-Darling, Priest Vicar; Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Parliamentary Warden; Mr John Durham; Mr Gregory Meier; Mr Brian Miller; Mr Edward Osterwald; Ms Terry Riggs; Ms Becky Wallower; and The Baroness Wilcox, members of the St Margaret’s Forum.
Each November the Royal British Legion establishes a Field of Remembrance in the grounds of Westminster Abbey. The field is a sea of remembrance crosses with scarlet poppies - a symbol of remembrance and a tribute to the memory of ex-Service men and women. This year there are 381 plots and over 60,000 crosses.