Press & Communications

20 Sep 2011

HRH The Princess Royal attended a service of thanksgiving to mark the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion held at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 20th September 2011.

During the service The Princess Royal laid a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

During the wreathlaying Penelope Keith CBE read John Alexander McCrae’s In Flanders Field.

In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: ‘We come to this Abbey, so many of whose memorials speak of war and the pity of war, to remember the sacrifices of the past, to give thanks for this ninetieth anniversary of the Royal British Legion, and to pray for its continuing work.

‘In gratitude for God’s love, expressed through our duty of compassion for the injured and those in need, we shall pledge ourselves to a continuing ministry of service and care for them.

‘Depending upon God’s grace, and in tribute to those who in conflicts past and present paid the supreme sacrifice, we shall reaffirm our desire to create a world of justice, freedom, and peace.’

The New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra sang Laurence Binyon’s For The Fallen to a setting by Geoffrey Stephen. Kirianne Curley, the widow of Corporal Stephen Paul Curley of 40 Commando, Royal Marines, who died on active service in Afghanistan in May 2010, carried the Book of Remembrance through the Abbey to the High Altar.

John Farmer, Royal British Legion National Chairman, read Micah 4: 1-5 and Jenny Rowe, Trustee Royal British Legion, read Philippians 4: 4-9.

The Right Reverend Nigel McCullough, National Chaplain of the Royal British Legion and Bishop of Manchester, gave the Address.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Michael Macey, Minor Canon and Precentor.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Robert Quinney, Sub Organist, and James McVinnie, Assistant Organist, played before the service.

The Tri-Service Fanfare team directed by David Cole MVO, the Buglers from the Band of the Royal Marines, HMS Collingwood, and the Central Band of the Royal British Legion, also played.

See also:

Order of Service (PDF, 110 KB)

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