On Friday November 11th we were once again privileged enough to be part of the Armistice Day Service of Remembrance that takes place on the River Thames. This is of course a solemn, thought provoking occasion and it was rather evocative as we travelled up the Thames from St Katharine Docks, past HMS Belfast, the RAF Memorial and finally onto the Palace of Westminster as part of the flotilla. This year Thames Rockets were lucky enough to be joined on board by ex-serviceman from The Royal British Legion Becontree Chadwell Heath. John and John meet the members of the Guild of Watermen & Lightermen (red jackets denote that they have won the Doggetts Race) The crew and our guests heading out (L-R Vic, Bob, Scott, Sarah, Mike, 'Greege' and John). We have to say we felt very privileged to spend the morning with these boys, John (front right) was celebrating his 93rd birthday in fact and was rather thrilled to be heading out in a speedboat! Being true 21st century veterans, they had smart phones in hand ready to snap pictures the whole way! We were enthralled to hear John's tale - he was sunk off Anzio in WW2 and survived even though he couldn't (and still can't!) swim. Each of the chaps were complete gentlemen and were a pleasure to have on-board. Here is a the onboard POV for the journey and the ceremony: It was a beautiful bright morning on the river which was very still and calm. The ideal conditions for such a reflective occasion. Tower Bridge was lifted to full lift as the Armistice Day Remembrance Flotilla passed through. Needless to say we never tire of Tower Bridge lifting! We were lucky enough to have glorious sunshine blazing down on us as we passed the London Eye and arrived at Westminster. The Havengore, the vessel which carried Sir Winston Churchill during his state funeral, moving into position to begin the service of remembrance. Other members of the flotilla holding position around The Havengore during the service Heading back towards St. Katharine Pier after the service (and Sarah having a jolly good natter with our guests!). Passing HMS Belfast and her temporary neighbour HMS Severn (River-class offshore patrol vessel) It was, yet again, a privilege to be part of this annual occasion. If you would like more information about The Royal British Legion, The Poppy Appeal or how to support or fundraise click here. We would like to extend a huge thank you all of the team at The Havengore for once again organising the service and welcoming everyone on-board afterwards for a fantastic lunch at St Katharine Docks.
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