More than 1,000 Jewish service veterans, many of whom had seen war service during the Second World War, braved a cold Sunday afternoon to pay tribute to those who had fallen in battle.
The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women’s annual Commemoration of Remembrance and Parade also attracted members of the JLGB, friends and families, civic, synagogue and school and youth groups who swelled the numbers marching down Whitehall to the Cenotaph, led by the Band of the Coldstream Guards.
An emotive service was conducted by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Senior Jewish Chaplain to HM Forces, Rabbi Reuben Livingstone and Rabbi Harry Jacobi, remembering the fallen of all conflicts. The parade was drawn to attention by the parade commander, Lt Col Simon Soskin of the Grenadier Guards A moving wreath laying ceremony was led by the Reviewing Office, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford.
Other wreaths were laid commemorating the centenary of the battles of Jutland, Verdun and the Somme and The Jewish Brigade and by representatives of the Armed Forces, Cadet Forces, SAAFA, and by the JLGB and youth organisations. A very special addition was a wreath laid by Barbara Winton and Lord Dubs in memory of her father Sir Nicholas Winton.
The parade marched past the reviewing officer impressively before adjourning for a tea where Sir Andrew Pulford spoke warmly about the Jewish community’s contribution to the defence of this country. He said: “This tradition continues today as we’ve seen by all those in uniform on parade today, still serving.”
The event closed with addresses by AJEX President, Hon Vice Admiral the Lord Sterling and National Chairman Brian Bloom. Both paid tribute to those veterans who had travelled from as far as Israel, Gibraltar and France to attend the parade as well as the serving personnel, JLGB and St John Ambulance who has helped with the event organisation.