Rethink Remembrance

Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph

by Neil Course

Sunday 13th November saw me at Epping station at 0715hrs to catch a train into London as I was attending the Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph. I had spent the previous week bulling my shoes / pressing my shirt and polishing medals – I was there representing retired Police Officers but also as a veteran of the British Army (Royal Engineers). I was marching in the NARPO contingent, representing Essex Police and joining 33 other retired officers, including officers from Suffolk / Hertfordshire / Northamptonshire / GMP & Kent and many others. In total, there were 8000+ people taking part in the march past. We could not have asked for a better day, although there was a chill in the air, the sky was blue and sun was shining.

My reasons for attending the march was to remember those who fought for what we have today, bearing in mind that it was 100 years since the Battle of the Somme – we were surrounded by some real heroes from WW11 / Falkland’s War / Northern Ireland / Iraq and more recently Afghanistan. It was also time to remember and reflect on the Police Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. I felt an immense feeling of pride as we marched along Whitehall & the crowds who were crammed in 20 deep applauding all the groups marching. This continued along Parliament Street / Great George street and into Horse Guards Road, where HRH Prince Charles took the salute, before finishing on Horse Guards Parade.

It was a fantastic day, very moving & humbling to share the same stage as some of the ‘Older’ veterans. The most memorable part of the day was seeing the Gurkhas march past and receiving the loudest applause of the day.

Would I do it again? Of course, I would. Would I recommend others to take part? Of course, I would.