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A full contingent of South African Legion Legionnaires laid a wreath in the world renowned Cenotaph Parade held in Whitehall, London on Remembrance Sunday – 8th November 2015.
The parade has 20 000 veterans and personnel from participating public service organisations taking part in it, however the South African Legionnaires stood out in conformity as proud South African veterans.As is customary the parade begins at 11:00am with a two minute silence, the start of which is announced with an artillery salvo – heard across the city.
Queen Elizabeth II has the honour of laying the first wreath at the Cenotaph – this year she was accompanied by the King of the Netherlands. Following the Queen, serving members of Royal family lay their respective wreaths.
Once the Royal party has concluded wreath laying, members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers, the Mayor of London, other Ministers, Representatives of the Armed Forces, Faith Communities and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries all lay wreaths.
The march past starts with the Royal British Legion’s wreath. Thereafter the numerous regiment associations, veterans associations and public service bodies march past the Cenotaph with an eyes left and present their respective wreaths.
The Legionnaires presented the South African Legion wreath – Stuart Robertson was given the honour. On the march the Legion took the salute of Prince William with an eyes right, before entering horse guards to conclude the march and dismiss.
The wreath for the Royal British Legion South African branch was handed over by the branch’s youth members in the civilian columns.
Post parade refreshments and wrap up was held at the Kings Head in Shepard’s Lane. Peter Dickens – the branch Chairman – thanked all the Legionnaires and branch members – over 30 members where on parade, exceeding last years numbers and this is indicative of the highly positive culture in he branch which is growing from strength to strength.
Notable thanks were given to Peter Gillatt, Theo Fernandes, Karen Dickens, Stuart Robertson, Russell Mattushek, Paul Gladwin, Andrew Bergman, Cameron Kinnear, Cary Hendricks and Simon Mcllwaine for the success of the parades in London and Glasgow and significant contributions to the branch over the year.
The social was concluded with the anointment of the Branch’s Ceremonial Officer’s swagger stick – kindly donated by Russell Mattushek.