Royal Navy rehearse Remembrance drills ahead of Cenotaph ceremony

Personnel from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been training at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth in preparation for The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday.

Those taking part are drawn from units across the country including ships, submarines, Royal Marines establishments and Royal Naval Air Stations. Many of them have served on operations around the world, while for some it will be their first major ceremonial event since joining the Navy.

The sailors and marines are trained under the watchful eye of Warrant Officer 1st Class Eddie Wearing, the Royal Navy’s State Ceremonial Training Officer, and his team of instructors from HMS Collingwood in Fareham.

WO Eddie Wearing said, “I am extremely passionate about representing all those that have given their lives and am proud of our part in the Cenotaph ceremony this weekend. I have served in various places across the world and I have lost a lot of friends in the military, so there is a massive personal part of this for me, but it is also a strong showcase of what we represent as the Royal Navy.

“We are doing our piece in a tri-service environment where we’re all representing our own fighting arm. That’s what I like most about being at the Cenotaph. Being there, being proud of what we’re doing, being proud of the uniform we’re wearing and representing all those guys and girls that have given their lives so that we can be where we are today.”

Being there, being proud of what we’re doing, being proud of the uniform we’re wearing and representing all those guys and girls that have given their lives so that we can be where we are today

Warrant Officer 1st Class Eddie Wearing, Royal Navy’s State Ceremonial Training Officer

The group representing the Royal Navy are made up of a Royal Navy 96-man guard (90 Junior Rates, 6 Senior Rates and 3 Officers at the front), a Royal Marines 48 man guard and 18 representatives from the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Those chosen to take part regard selection as a great honour, and commit to thorough training each day plus hours of kit preparation in the evenings in order to display the best traditions and standards of the Royal Navy.

Able Seaman Laura Suttle, 21, of Littlehampton said, “I feel very privileged and honoured to be able to represent my country at such an important event. Without those who have risked their lives for our futures we would not be where we are today.”

Portsmouth-based Leading Naval Nurse Matthew Hyde, 27, said, “Being part of November ceremonies makes me incredibly proud of my Service and it is amazing to think of all of those who have served before us.”

As well as marching at the Cenotaph, those taking part will also have a role to play in the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Lord Mayor’s Parade.