London UK – The Memorial Gates Commemorative Committee is holding its fifth annual wreath laying ceremony on November 9th at the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill. Lady Thatcher will join Baroness Flather, Lord Karan Bilimoria and The Bishop of London in the ceremony to honour and remember the five million men and women from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Nepal, Africa and the Caribbean who volunteered to serve with the Armed Forces of Britain during the First and Second World Wars.
Inaugurated by The Queen in 2002, The Memorial Gates were erected to serve as a lasting symbol of gratitude to all those who volunteered and as a remembrance of their bravery and dedication. Each of the four stone columns of The Gates is carved with the names of the countries that participated in the First and Second World Wars, and the dome of the Pavilion is adorned with the names of those who were awarded the Victoria Cross and the George Cross. Two stone benches on either side of this Pavilion bear the names of the campaigns in which the volunteers participated.
Baroness Shreela Flather, JP DL, Patron of the Memorial Gates Trust is the founding force behind the concept and creation of The Gates, and without whose effort this exceptional memorial would not exist. She comments: “As the driving force behind the creation of the Memorial Gates, I believe the debt of honour which is owed to nearly 5 million ethnic minority volunteers in two World Wars must never be forgotten.”
Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, Chairman of the Memorial Gates Committee, adds, “The noble sacrifices of the five million men and women of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Africa and the Caribbean serve as an inspiration to us all and we will be forever grateful for their courage and fortitude. The memories of their courage will live forever through this incredible landmark.”
The Bishop of London will be speaking to mark the occasion with a host of dignitaries and veterans. Among the distinguished guests are: H.E. Mr Basil O’Brien CMG, High Commissioner of the Bahamas; Brigadier General Belal Uddin Mahmood, Defence Adviser, Bangladesh High Commission; Viscount Slim; Brigadier General Lindile Yam, Defence Adviser High Commission for the Republic of South Africa; Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, GCB CBE DL; The Rt. Hon. Bob Ainsworth MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces; The Rt. Revd. & Rt. Hon. Richard Chartres DD FSA; The Rt. Hon. Baroness Amos; Baroness Uddin; Sir Gulam Noon MBE and Lady Noon, as well as veterans and cadets.
Order of Service
10:45 Ceremony to commence
Rt. Hon. Baroness Flather, JP DL, Patron of the Memorial Gates Committee
Lord Bilimoria, CBE DL, Chairman of the Memorial Gates Committee
The Bishop of London
10:59 Gurkha Buglers
11:00 One minute silence
Laying of wreaths
11.15 – Tea and refreshments
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