Festival of remembrance

The Royal Albert Hall

Paul Buckland, a memorial fixer for P & S Gallagher Funeral Directors in West Sussex, was given the opportunity to participate in the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The event involved strict security checks, rehearsals and a heart-warming ‘full Albert’ breakfast.

Paul attended as part of his honourable voluntary position as a Standard Bearer for the Lindfield Royal British Legion. A role that, when asked, involves him parading at the funerals of ex-Service personnel and at other RBL events.

The Festival of Remembrance is a celebration in November dedicated to all of those who have served, and their families. The 2023 event was themed ‘Service’ and ‘Service Not Self’ and paid tribute to the Armed Forces through personal stories and music. It also honoured their families and representatives. Around 100 RBL branches attended the event from all areas of the United Kingdom, along with ex-Service Associations’ Standard Bearers.

Paul attended four performances at the festival and expressed deep admiration for the sacrifices of Veterans and their families. Also in attendance were King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Following the matinee, an evening session included performances by 93-year-old Colin Thackery, Mica Paris MBE, Katie Melua, Calum Scott and Alfie Boe.

Paul summed up his experience in three words: “Unforgettable, humbling and admiration.” It will be an experience which will live with him forever.

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