As per my tradition, I always watch the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance and the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph. It is important to remember and reflect the sacrifices, trials and hardships of these two most gruesome of wars. Whilst I am humbled and thankful to all those men and women who chose and still choose our amazing armed forces as a career path, I always specifically think about the hundreds and thousands of people who were conscripted to join the war effort, those who during war time volunteered to join, ordinary people who didn’t have a tantrum of ‘it’s not fair’, who didn’t have the modern day selfish, I’m owed privilege, but with pride, patriotism and sense of duty went to defend their way of life, and our future.
As I watch ‘the old guard’ march past the Cenotaph, I remember the remembrance service I stood at in November 1994. I cannot tell you where I was, because I was standing at the bow of STS Lord Nelson as Captain John Fisher led us. My voyage was in its second week, so likely just off the coast of Portugal. As we sailed the Atlantic Coast with the sun shining around the white clouds, as we crested the rolling waves, my buddy and I trying not to burst into giggles at the thought of a crashing wave washing the foredeck at the bowsprit. Trying to keep to the tune and timing of “those in peril on the sea” hymn without any accompaniment. Quite poignant and moving to be so isolated on the vest ocean, yet knowing such services were taking part all over the globe.