11 Solemn Drumhead Service of Remembrance at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

Saturday 28th June 2014

On 28 June 1914, HIRH The Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. This event was the trigger, six weeks later, of what became known as "The Great War". Over the subsequent four years, more than sixty million military personnel were mobilised in Europe. Sixteen million military and civilian personnel were killed and a further twenty million wounded.

One hundred years to the day, the London Regiment, held a Solemn Drumhead Service of Remembrance at the Royal Hospital, in the presence of HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, three Royal Honorary Colonels, HRH The Earl of Wessex, HRH Prince Michael of Kent and HRH Princess Alexandra and a member of the Habsburg Imperial Family.

The moving service was led by the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev and Rt Hon Richard Chartres. It was followed by a reception at which the three Royal Colonels presented medals to members of the London Regiment who have served in recent conflicts.

I was accompanied by our new Clerk, Sandra Stocker, who formally takes office on 7 July.

When leaving, we viewed displays by cadets and young people from Youth Organisations in Uniform (YOU). Whilst Reserve personnel are volunteers today, young people are the volunteers of the future. We were especially interested in the displays of The Boys' Brigade (where we sheltered for ten minutes from torrential rain) and St John Ambulance, It was an inspiration to see the diverse activities all the young people were involved in and the sheer energy they bring to bear.