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Royal Navy united in remembrance across the globe

Sailors, soldiers and Royal Marines bow in reverence on RFA Argus
11 November 2020
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Royal Navy personnel united with the nation in paying tribute to the fallen during this year’s Remembrance ceremonies.

Although services were scaled back because of the pandemic, the act of remembering those who fell while serving their nation has continued almost unabated.

From the sands of the Gulf and Caribbean to the waters of the Mediterranean, from imposing local and national monuments to the barren, windswept scrub of Dartmoor, the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month has been solemnly marked.

Wreath-laying ceremonies were held aboard RFA Argus and HMS Medway, the UK task group in the Caribbean. Argus’ Commanding Officer Capt Kevin Rimell RFA, and the CO of the task group, Cdr Kate Muir, both laid wreaths during a flight deck service which concluded with Sapper Joe Sparrowhawk from 24 Commando Royal Engineers, the youngest member on board the ship, reading the Kohima Epitaph.

Half a world away in the Mediterranean and sailors and Royal Marines on the UK’s flagship HMS Albion converged on her flight deck for a similar act of thanksgiving.

Having sent crew to represent the Royal Navy on Remembrance Sunday in Newquay, Penzance and Truro, on November 11 itself, HMS Scott held an unusual service on the bed of the dry dock in Falmouth where the ship is undergoing maintenance. The service was led by gunnery officer Lt Sam Kinghorn and coxswain PO Simon Hamilton, and also attended by employees – some of whom are RN veterans – of A&P Falmouth.

Second Sea Lord, Vice-Admiral Nick Hine and Major General Matt Holmes, Commandant General Royal Marines, led a wreath-laying service at Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth, taken by Chaplain of the Fleet, The Venerable Martyn Gough. Head of the RFA, Cdre David Eagles and RN Finance Director Sarah Davies also laid wreaths.

Maj Gen Holmes was also present at the wreath laying on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial, joining Naval Base Commander Cdre Jeremy Bailey and personnel, while his Faslane counterpart Cdre Donald Doull, Commander HMNB Clyde, laid a wreath at Helensburgh Garden of Remembrance.

On Dartmoor, Officer Cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College undergoing their final leadership exercise downed bergens and backpacks and joined instructors for two minutes to remember the fallen.

CPO Craig McDonald presented a wreath on behalf of HMS Raleigh at Liskeard station for the ‘Poppies to Paddington’ trains organised by the Veterans Charity and supported by Great Western Railway. Warrant Officer Alex Orr and Able Rate Eddie McGinley, representing HM Naval Base Devonport, presented a wreath at Plymouth station.

A small party from HMS Raleigh also laid wreaths and poppy crosses on the war graves located at Horson cemetery in Torpoint.

Sailors attended a Remembrance service at the Falkland Islands memorial stone at HMS CollingwoodKnowing CV19 constraints would restrict services, areas of reflection were created in the Headquarters building and Main Presentation Hall of the Fareham establishment, together with Remembrance displays.

Sailors from HMS Protector and Enterprise gathered at the entrance to Middlesbrough Port, where both survey/scientific ships are undergoing maintenance, to join dock workers, shipwrights, local police and officials in remembering the men from yards on the Teesside who were lost in the war.

And Royal Marines of 47 Commando remembered the men who stormed the formidable defences of Normandy and Walcheren, and ferried brave men into battle in San Carlos among other locations with a service at the Landing Craft Memorial at RM Tamar in Devonport Naval Base.

You can see scores of imagery from the numerous remembrance services by visiting https://imagery.royalnavy.mod.uk/fotoweb/Grid.fwx

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