Services remember British fallen

Other News Materials 9 November 2008 08:57 (UTC +04:00)

Ceremonies across the UK will take place later to remember the servicemen and women who lost their lives in all past and current armed conflicts, BBC reported.

The Queen will lead Remembrance Sunday tributes at the Cenotaph in London. Simon Brown, who lost an eye while serving in Iraq, will lead the parade.

Troops on active service in Iraq and Afghanistan will also hold services.

This year's events fall just two days before the 90th anniversary of the armistice - the end of World War I.

Almost 900,000 men and women in the British armed forces died during the conflict, which was meant to be the war to end all wars.

Three veterans - the youngest aged 108 - will be at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Tuesday, 90 years to the minute since the ceasefire.

The oldest surviving veteran, Henry Allingham, 112, paid tribute to his fallen comrades on Wednesday at a centre in Ovingdean, near Brighton, which provides support to blind ex-servicemen and women.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Foreign Secretary David Miliband and opposition party leaders will be among those attending the national wreath-laying event in central London later.

They will be joined by thousands of veterans who will assemble on Horse Guards Parade before marching to the Cenotaph.

The Prince of Wales, a Colonel in the Welsh Guards, will take part in the Welsh Guards' remembrance event at the Guards' Chapel in central London before presenting medals and laying a wreath at the Guards' Memorial.

Elsewhere in the capital, live performances will take place in Trafalgar Square for the 90th Anniversary: Silence in the Square event, which will include a reading by actor John Hurt of the poem Do not stand at my grave and weep.

Remembrance services will also be held at the Welsh National War Memorial in Cardiff, Glasgow's George Square and Belfast's City Hall .

Meanwhile, Arthur Hillman, a 98-year-old World War II veteran, will be attending his first Remembrance Sunday parade.

The survivor, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, has never attended Poppy Day services before now because he did not see himself as a war hero and because he preferred to stay at home to look after his wife.

The Desert Rat, who fought in the battles of El Alamein and Monte Cassino, has now agreed to attend a remembrance service at St James's Church in Trowbridge.

"I never did anything heroic like rescuing soldiers or anything like that," he said. "I'm determined and a very independent person but I'm also quite modest and that's partly the reason why I didn't wear the medals."

Last night, the Queen and members of the Royal Family attended the Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The event included the traditional two-minute silence as thousands of poppy petals fell from the roof of the venue, each representing a life lost in war.