One of Britain’s most senior military men will join Jewish veterans and their families at the Cenotoph this month, as the AJEX remembrance ceremony and parade marks a year of “significant anniversaries”.
Field Marshal Lord Gutrhie, a former SAS soldier who became head of the army and chief of defence staff, advising the government during the war in Bosnia and Kosovo, will honour Jewish veterans on Sunday 15 November.
Former fighters from the Commonwealth, Israel, France and the United States will fly in to pay their respects to those who fell in battle, 70 years after the World War II ended, 75 years after the Battle of Britain and 100 years after Gallipoli.
For the Jewish world, it also marks the centenary of the formation of the Zion Mule Corps, the first all-Jewish military unit since the Biblical days of Josephus, with families using the event to inform and educate their children on Jewish history.
“We have gone to considerable lengths this year to make the march as easy as possible,” said AJEX chairman Brian Bloomer. “With such important anniversaries this year, many people will have their own personal memories and reflections.”
He added: “I extend a particular invitation to the children and grandchildren and families of those who served to come and support us and help us to continue the legacy of remembrance, welfare and education.”
For the first time in recent history, this year’s parade will be commanded by a serving officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Soskin, a Grenadier Guardsman and until recently the Brigade Major of the Household Division, who is often seen on TV escorting the Royal party on ceremonial occasions.