The Memorial Gates, Constitution Hill, London annual ceremony took place on the 13th of March 2023. The ceremony is held to pay respect for the immense contribution and sacrifice made by the five million men and women of the Commonwealth and Nepal during World War One and World War Two. The Memorial Gates were inaugurated by Her Majesty The Queen on the 6th of November 2002.
The Memorial Gates were inaugurated by Her Majesty The Queen on the 6th of November 2002. The Memorial commemorates the armed forces of the British Empire from five regions of the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka), as well as Africa and the Caribbean, who served for Britain in the First and Second World Wars. This year is also the 75th Anniversary of the Windrush and there were many representatives from Windrush organisations present at the event. Windrush was a period 1948-1971 when workers arrived from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, to help fill post-war UK labour shortages. The name refers to the ship MV Empire Windrush, which docked in Tilbury on 22 June 1948, the ship carried 492 passengers – many of them children.
The event is managed by the Memorial Gates Committee, in Partnership with The Royal British Legion. With the Brigade of Gurkhas Secretary, Major Mani Rai MBE DL playing a key part in organising and delivering the event.
The ceremony was opened by Major Mani Rai, who then invited key people to speak about the Commonwealth and the memorial.
Prayers were read by The Right Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin MBE QHC, Bishop of Dover, followed by a Lament by a bagpiper. At 1100hrs a Bugler sounded ‘Last Post’ followed by a 2-minute silence and ‘Reveille’.
This was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony:
A lament was performed by a bagpiper followed by the ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ by a bugler. The event was supported with music from the Royal Corps of Army Music Sandhurst Band. The King’s Gurkha Orderly Officers were also in attendance standing proudly by the side of the memorial during the ceremony.
All the representatives for the countries and organisations represented in turn laid their own wreaths.
Photography by Mr Mick Latter