Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Fields of Remembrance

The poppies of princes in the Fields of Remembrance at Westminster
(photo Royal Family Twitter)

The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry have led tributes at one of the most poignant moments of commemoration in the days when we stop to recall those who lost their lives in war. Grandfather and grandson joined hundreds of veterans and families at Westminster Abbey to place poppies in the Fields of Remembrance.

The gentle carpet of red flowers and crosses, remembering those who have lost their lives, was first laid at Westminster in 1928 with just two memorials - one for Field Marshal Douglas Haig who had died earlier that year and the other for 'Tommy Atkins', the nickname for every ordinary soldier in the Army. Today, there are plots for regiments with the chance to plant a cross, most often bearing the name of a member of the military who has died while in action, in these special places by St Margaret's Church next to the Abbey in Westminster.

The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry arrived in the grey light of the morning of November 10th in full uniform to lead tributes. Both planted a cross, saluted and stood in remembrance - both men have known personnel killed in action. It is a moment filled with both sadness and pride for them both.

There was also a chance to meet the veterans with Prince Philip stopping to chat to many of those who had come to remember.

Prince Harry spoke to many as well and spent time with a little boy called Harrison who, at eight years old, had come to remember his uncle, Lieutenant Aaron Lewis, killed in action in Afghanistan in 2008.

The Fields of Remembrance are of huge importance to the Royal Family and for many years, it was the Queen Mother who led tributes here as the series of commemorations for those lost in war began. This year, like several before, was about two royal men, both so proud of their military pasts, coming to pay tribute to those who didn't come back. A poignant day at the Fields of Remembrance.

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