Lest we forget!
Eleven o’clock on 11thNovember 2018 marked the 100thanniversary of the end of the first World War, and as part of the commemorations, Masters of the Livery Companies were invited, for the first time, to take part in the Service of Remembrance at St. Pauls Cathedral, London. Michel Saminaden, Upper Warden, and our Consorts Maureen and Malcolm joined me to attend the Service.
The Upper Warden and I wearing our gowns joined other Masters in the North Transept, whilst Malcolm and Maureen sat in the West Transept. The Service was attended by the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen and Common Councillors, together with many from the Armed Service and the Royal British Legion.
A few minutes before 11 a.m. the Dean remembered the Fallen and the Last Post was sounded. There followed a two-minute silence and then Reveille was sounded. In those two minutes I remembered my own Grandfathers George and Frank, both of whom had served in the “war to end all wars” but I had never met, and all those who had fought for us, many of whom never came home.
Following the Service, we marched to the Royal Exchange Building for the wreath laying ceremony. As well as wreaths laid by the Lord Mayor, wreaths were laid by the Armed Services, local cubs and scouts and other organisations. A wreath was laid on behalf of the City of London Livery Companies, by Master Fruiterer, the first time this had ever happened.
Following the Ceremony, the Masters moved to Mansion House to salute and applaud the Old Comrades as they marched past.