The Royal British Legion presents its Festival of Remembrance

Published: Thursday 9th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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The Royal British Legion returns to Hull for the seventh year to mark Remembrance Day.

The much-loved Festival of Remembrance offers a chance for audiences to pay respects to those who fought and lost their lives in wars past and present.

This year, the concert will consist of The Band of 150 Regiment RLC and The Band of The Queen’s Division. They will lead 2017’s musical tribute to British Armed Forces.

Meanwhile, the Do Re Mi ladies choir is supporting the bands. The programme will also include the city’s Sea Cadet Corps from TS Iron Duke.

Founded in 1921, almost one hundred years ago, the Royal British Legion brought together four of the organisations that previously helped ex-servicemen after The Great War.

Their core goal was to care for those who had suffered during the tragic conflict, whether that was a former soldier struggling to earn a living to support himself and his family, or a war widow unable to provide her children with a good education.

The 1920s in Britain were a bleak time. Although the war was over, the economy plunged and two million people were unemployed. Many of the men who managed to return from the awful conditions of the trenches were now facing a life with a permanent disability. Meanwhile, many families had lost their fathers, sons and brothers. It was a devastating time. The same year that the Royal British Legion was formed, the first Poppy Day was held on 11 November.

Poppies have become the emblem for Remembrance Day because of the poem In Flanders Fields, written by a Canadian physician, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. In the piece, he recalls the red poppies that sprung up from the graves of fallen soldiers. This has become one of the most quoted poems from the First World War.

The day of 11 November is chosen because hostilities in Europe ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month ,when an armistice was signed by Germany and British allies.

The first two-minute silence to respect the twenty million people who had died during WW1 was observed in 1919. The tradition is still carried out to this day, either on 11 November or on Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday closest to 11 November.

This year, the Royal British Legion has launched a Rethink Remembrance campaign. It wants to encourage communities to think differently and recognise the sacrifices that the Armed Forces have made for our country in the past, and what the army, the Royal Navy and other services are doing currently.

The Festival of Remembrance will take place at Hull City Hall this Friday from 7:30pm. Tickets for the concert are £12 and all proceeds go towards helping members of the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, as well as veterans and their families.

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Published: Thursday 9th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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