Officers join Remembrance Sunday at The Cenotaph

Date published: 13 November 2019 08:19
Dated: 13 November 2019 08:18:49
On Sunday (10 November) three officers from South Yorkshire Police took part in the 100th Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph in London, as part of The Civilian Services Contingent.

Inspector Dave Struggle, PC Dean Portman and PC Phil Day are all military veterans themselves, making their attendance even more poignant.

The Civilian Services Contingent (CSC) comprises of volunteers from the Police, Fire, Ambulance and Prison Services, St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross. The main function of the CSC is to represent the uniformed Civilian Services at the National Service of Remembrance in Whitehall. The CSC forms twenty-five percent of the static guard of honour around the Cenotaph, alongside the Army detachment, opposite the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. 

Inspector Struggles shared his experience: “Our day started at 6am, with a briefing, security checks and two hours of foot drill practice at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The drill instructors took particular pleasure in putting us through our paces!

“At exactly 10.29am, 200 CSC officers marched our way onto King Charles Street, then onto Parliament Street and into the immediate gaze of thousands of people! The Guards Division band were incredible, especially when they played Rule Britannia. Everything is done with such precision; we were behind the immaculate Royal Marines in their scarlet striped trousers and white helmets.

“We were stood just behind the cenotaph, as still as statues and watched as the Royal party, politicians and civic dignitaries took their place.

“At 11am the parade was brought to attention and a moment later, the sound of the guns of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery signalled the two minutes silence.  The chimes of Big Ben the only sound. The nation joined us in solemn contemplation and thought, for those who lost their lives in conflict on behalf of the nation. A silence that was absolutely respectful, impeccably observed and total.  We stood in quiet reflection.

“The mournful trumpet of The Last Post always sends a shiver down the spine and marked the start of the laying of the poppies. The service concluding with the National Anthem in the presence of Her Majesty. I hope she heard us singing to her!

“The parade of veterans was the most though-provoking part of the morning, I wondered of their experiences, losses and memories – the fine body of men and women of which we are all so grateful and proud.

“Veterans from more recent conflicts and campaigns paraded by - some looked too young to be veterans of conflict. Bereaved families and children also participated in the parade, I am sure their lost loved ones would be proud of the way they are honouring them. Each and every member of the parade proudly paying their own tributes as they passed the monument. Emotional stuff.”

“The day was one to remember the actions of others killed or injured in war and reflection of those sacrifices that allow us to enjoy our lives in freedom.  

“The opportunity to represent South Yorkshire Police at the 100th Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph was a privilege and something we will always remember.”
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