Apologies for it being a couple of weeks since Remembrance Day, I would, however, like to give you all a heads up on how the day went at the Cenotaph on Whitehall for what as you all know the first time that the T21s marched.
The weather blessed us all, which was great considering the appalling conditions we had on the build-up to the day, but it turned out beautiful.
A total of 52 of us marched for the T21 Association from our initial allocation of 60, that meant 8 dropping out due to illness & a couple of others could not make it, so overall I was pleased with our turn out. Unfortunately, one or two members think that I can fill their places if they drop out, which I can from the reserve list, BUT after the British Legion have closed the lists in August that is it, I can no longer add to it for security reasons. However, as I said for our first Parade, I was Happy with our turnout.
Unfortunately, we did not get any coverage on the BBC as just as we were marching past the Cenotaph, they cut to an interview and came back to it just as we had gone past, though they did mention us. The Best coverage came through via the ITV coverage which captured all of us, & the camera zoomed in on our ranks as we marched past I led the T21’s with Graham Day (ex Ambuscade) carrying the Wreath.
Following the march past at the Cenotaph we continued around the back of Whitehall & to the rear of Horse Guards, where Prince Andrew was there to take the salute. The cheering crowds were memorable as was the camaraderie among not only the Royal Navy contingents but those of all of the services.
A proud, emotional and privileged day, where every member of the T21 contingent said how much they enjoyed it & would do it again. After the Parade, we had secured the Porterhouse pub on Covent Garden for an excellent buffet reception. The staff at the pub looked after us really well and we had a room & bar provided just for our use plus family & Friends of those marching which resulted in a total of around 80 of us. The buffet that the pub provided was excellent, and at £10 per head, we thought that was brilliant for central London. I have since contacted the Porterhouse on behalf of the T21 club and expressed my appreciation for how well they looked after us all.
In Summary, it was an exceptional day, enjoyed by everyone who attended. All who marched looked very smart & were a credit to the Association & most if not all have expressed a wish to do it all again next year. So I am willing to organise it again for 2020, where I would hope that we can better this year’s allocation of 60.
Can I take this opportunity in thanking you all for the support in getting this off the ground, at last, We are now on that British Legion list and I hope that we continue to march at the Cenotaph for many years to come.