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Field of Remembrance Opening Ceremony at Westminster Abbey

On 7th November 2019, representatives of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London, Mrs. Markéta Štěrbová, Colonel Jiří Niedoba and Chief Warrant Officer Tomáš Kašpar attended the Opening Ceremony held in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. Representatives of the Memorial Association for Free Czechoslovak Veterans, headed by its chair Gerry Manolas, prepared the memorial plot for Czech and Slovak veterans. Members of the Royal Family Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, visited the area with memorial plots of individual British and foreign associations of veterans or organizations and units.

Every November, the British Regimental and other Associations commemorate fallen comrades at a service. The Opening Ceremony takes place every Thursday before Sunday, when official ceremonies take place, for example in the form of war veteran’s march at the White Hall (the Cenotaph Parade). Major Howson started this commemoration in 1928 with a few disabled ex-servicemen from the Poppy Factory: they grouped around a battlefield cross, armed with a tray of poppies and invited passers-by to plant a poppy in the vicinity of the cross. The commemoration is still organised and run by the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory.

The revival of the box (No. 95) honoring the memory of Czech and Slovak soldiers who fell mainly during World War II and in peacekeeping missions after 1989 is due to Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Nicholas Southward OBE (former Defence Attaché of Great Britain in Slovakia) who has been coordinating the participation of Czech and Slovak representatives for five years.  Unfortunately, Nick was unable to attend the ceremony this year due to health problems, but we are looking forward to seeing him again next year.




Poppy Fields