Remembrance Sunday, will be held on Sunday 10th November. The National Service of remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph at Whitehall in London at 11am. The service honours the service and sacrifices of the Armed Forces who fought in the two World Wars and any other conflicts. This yearly remembrance ensures no one is forgotten and honours those who sacrificed themselves to protect our freedom. Every year up to 10,000 veterans, current serving Armed Forces personnel and bereaved spouses and first generation descendants take part in the March Past. From 9am on the 10th November the Royal British Legion detachments form up on Horse Guards Parade. At 10am the March Past begins then at 11am there is a two minute silence in which the whole country falls silent to remember those who gave their lives. The beginning and the end of the silence is marked at 11.00 and 11.02 by the firing of guns by the Kings Troop at Horse Guards Parade The 11th November marks Armistice Day. This year will mark 101 years since the end of the First World War. On November 11th 1918 the armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. This stated an end to any conflict and an end to the war. This was signed at 11am, “on the eleventh house of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” In many of the Allied nations, and France, this is a national holiday. Remembrance does not glorify war. Its symbol, the red poppy, is a sign of remembrance and the hope for a peaceful future. The poppy is greatly appreciated by those who it is intended to support and shows your respect. This well-established symbol is one that carries a wealth of history and meaning. During WW1, much of the countryside on the front in Western Europe was repeatedly bombarded by artillery shells. This turned the landscapes into bleak and barren scenes where nothing could grow, apart from the poppy flower. The Flanders poppy flourished in the middle of all the destruction, growing into tens of thousands. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, saw the poppies which gave him his inspiration to write the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. This poem led America academic, Moina Michael to adopt the poppy into the memory of those who had fallen in the war. Anna Guerin, in 1921, sold the poppies in the UK where she met Earl Haigh , the founder of the Royal British Legion. He was persuaded to adopt the poppy as the emblem for the Legion in the UK and so in 1921 they ordered nine million poppies and sold them that year. They raised £106,000 to help the veterans which became the first ‘Poppy Appeal’. In today’s Poppy Appeal, 40,000 volunteers distribute 40 million poppies. Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day offer us all a chance to remember not just those who fought, but what they fought for. Today in the UK, remembrance is very different to how it was 100 [...]
The Royal Artillery (RA) provides firepower to the British Army and is more commonly known as the ‘Gunners’. Regular and reserve units make up the Royal Artillery and are located all around the UK and Germany. Originally formed in 1716, the RA found its regimental home in Woolwich for almost 300 years until it was recently relocated to Larkhill in Salisbury Plains. The Regiment has sub-units, or batteries, which can be deployed independently and move around regiments. It is able to perform many different roles within a single regiment. The Royal Artillery answers directly to the reigning sovereign, currently Queen Elizabeth II through the Master Gunner who is Her Majesty’s chief advisor on artillery matters. The modern battlefield means that new equipment is constantly developed so soldiers and officers in the Royal Artillery have to be flexible enough to cope with the demands of this. Before World War II, Royal Artillery recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 4 inches tall. There were 960 artillery regiments during WWII with over one million men. Today the RA has a wide range of roles including: Commando and Airborne artillery, Air Defence, Surveillance and Target Acquisition and Self Propelled Artillery. Its ceremonial role is through the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the regiment’s motto is ‘Ubique’ which means ‘Everywhere’. This comes from the fact that the unit has taken part in every Army campaign. The RA doesn’t have regimental colours as its guns are accorded the same symbolic status - if the RA lost its guns in action it, would be considered equally dishonourable. We stock accessories for the Royal Artillery. Click here to view our range.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a nursing home and retirement facility for British Army veterans. The London-based Hospital is located on Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea. The charity relies on donations to help towards the day-to-day running of the accommodation. Any veteran who is over the age of 65 and has served as a regular soldier may apply to become a Chelsea Pensioner, or resident at the Hospital. They must also have found themselves in a time of need and must be ‘of good character’. Applicants must not have any dependant spouse or family and any former Officers must have served at least 12 years in the ranks before receiving a commission. King Charles II founded the Royal Hospital in 1682 as a retreat for veterans. Some of the first to be admitted were those injured at the Battle of Sedgemoor. It wasn’t until 2002 that the Sovereign’s Mace was presented to the hospital – up until that point the hospital had no colours or distinctions -the Mace is now carried at all ceremonial events. Until 2009, there were no women admitted to the hospital. Winifred Phillips and Dorothy Hughes were the first ladies admitted. The Chelsea Pensioners are entitled to come and go from the Royal Hospital as they please. Within the hospital, the pensioners are encouraged to wear the blue uniform. On ceremonial occasions a red frock coat is worn, with cocked hats. The hospital maintains a military based culture. Each in-pensioner is put into one of three companies. Each company is headed by a Captain of Invalids who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the pensioners. Today there are roughly 320 army veterans who call the Royal Hospital Chelsea home. Many have served in Korea, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, World War II and Northern Ireland. We supply uniform accessories for the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Click here to view our items.
The Wyedean Weaving Company established itself in Haworth in 1964 as a manufacturer of narrow fabrics, braid and uniform accoutrement. The business originated in Coventry around 1850 and was previously known as Dalton, Barton and Co Ltd. During WWII, the main factory in Coventry was completely destroyed during the Blitz in 1941. The company’s East End London warehouse and store in Jewin Street London were also later destroyed. For this reason the company possesses no artefacts or records dating from before the Blitz, nor evidence of this difficult time in the Company’s history…that is until recently when the letter shown below came to light from one of Dalton Barton’s war-time customers. Gary Smith is the current owner of fourth-generation upholsterers JE Smith and Son, and he tracked Wyedean down when he found the letter from Dalton, Barton hidden away in the company’s workshop. Gary’s grandfather purchased webbing from Dalton, Barton during the war and his company manufactured sewing bags for gas masks. JE Smith and Son is approaching its 100th year in business and these days focuses on high quality upholstery work. The company recently helped manufacture a bespoke chair called the Windsor Castle chair designed by Shaun Brownell from RhubarbLondon. The chair imitates the scarlet woollen ceremonial uniform of the Irish Guards and is replete with detailed buttons, buckles and accoutrement, which coincidently Wyedean manufactures and supplies to all the Guard’s regiments. To view Wyedean’s range of ceremonial regalia and accoutrement items click here.