Queen to attend remembrance event

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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The Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family will attend the Royal British Legion’s annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall tonight, commemorating all those who have lost their lives in conflict.

The festival takes place the evening before Remembrance Sunday and in the centenary year of the start of the First World War is expected to be especially poignant.

Political and military leaders will also attend the event, which includes a finale with the traditional two minute silence as poppy petals fall from the roof, representing lives lost in war.

Acts include Grammy Award winning artists Joss Stone and guitar legend Jeff Beck, who teamed up to record this year’s official Poppy Appeal single No Man’s Land (Green Fields Of France).

The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines will mark their 350th anniversary with a special performance ahead of a display by the Queen’s Colour Squadron and a sequence from the cast of War Horse.

The festival will also include contributions from bereaved families, Chelsea Pensioners and 100 Normandy veterans in a tribute to the 70th anniversary of D Day.

One of those taking part is Jim Radford, who was just 10 when the Second World War broke out in 1939, and went to sea five years later.

He is thought to have been the youngest participant in the Allied landing at Arromanches in Normandy where his ship, the Empire Larch, worked on rescue and salvage operations.

At 18 he joined the Royal Navy and served nearly eight years. The story of his first trip to sea has been put to music in a song of his own composition, The Shores Of Normandy.

Dr Chris Simpkins, director general of the Legion, said: “Each year the Festival of Remembrance honours those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and all those who serve. This year is especially poignant in the centenary of the start of the First World War.

“For a live and televised audience the festival will honour the memory of the fallen and the future of the living.”

The Legion was founded in 1921 by veterans of the First World War who adopted the poppy as their symbol. Over the past two weeks, the Legion’s national Poppy Appeal has seen some 45 million poppies distributed by 350,000 collectors with the aim of raising £40 million.

Viewers at home can tune in to coverage presented by Huw Edwards on BBC1 from 9.15pm-10.50pm. The festival is also being broadcast on BBC Radio 2.

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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