Centenary Battle Day Thanksgiving Service 2014

 A commemorative service was held at the Admiralty church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, off Trafalgar Square, at 11.00 am on Monday, 8 December to remember those who fought in the battles of Coronel (1 November 1914) and the Falkland Islands (8 December 1914). 

 The service was attended by over 400 people including representatives of the British and German navies, Service organisations and Ship Associations, as well as descendants of those who took part in the battles. Those officiating at the service included the Rt. Rev'd Nigel Stock (Bishop for the Falkland Islands and Bishop to the Armed Forces), Chaplain of the Fleet, the Rev'd Scott Brown and Rev'd Annegret Wirges, the German Military Chaplain in Brussels.  Bishop Stephen Venner (former Bishop for the Falkland Islands and to the Armed Forces) gave the address.

 

The standards of the Royal Navy, the German Navy, the Royal British Legion, the Royal Naval Association (both National and Monmouth branch), the HMS Protector Association, the South Atlantic Medal 82 Association, the Association of Wrens, the Seafarers (King George V Fund), The Falkland Islands Association and Pangbourne College followed the clergy into the church and standards were laid on or behind the altar.
 

      


The first reading was by the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel CBE, DL, and the second by the German Defence Attache, Brigadier General Martin Hein. 

The address was given by the Rt Revd Stephen Venner, former Bishop to the Falkland Islands and Bishop to the Forces
 


The service included an Act of Remembrance and Mr Roger Edwards MLA read Binyon's exhortation.

The Last Post and Reveille was sounded by a bugler of the Royal Marine band, Portsmouth.
 

Wreaths were laid by Vice-Admiral Steel, Second Sea Lord (British Armed Forces), Brigadier Hein (German Armed Forces), Ms Anna Soubry, MP, MOD Minister for Veterans, Mr Andrew Rosindell MP (UK/FI APPG), Mr Simpkins (Royal British Legion), Mr Roger Edwards (Falkland Islands Govt) Captain Tulloch (Royal Canadian Navy), Mr Alan Huckle (FIA), Cdr Tilden RN (HMS Monmouth), Commodore Menzies (Hon Company of Master Mariners, Mr Terry Thackrah (HMS Glasgow Association), Mr Robin Wager (HMS Inflexible and HMS Invincible), Lt Tom Hastings RN (HMS Protector), Vice Admiral McAnally (Royal Naval Association), Mrs Sara Jones (Falkland Families Association), Gordon Mather (SAMA82), Gp Captain Dole (Association of the Men of Kent & Kentish Men), Commodore Bryant CVO ( Seafarers {King George V Fund}), Lt Williams RNR (HMS Vivid), Lt Sam Yee RNR (HMS King Alfred), Lt Commander Brady RN (Friends of the Royal Naval Museum & HMS Victory), Mrs Carol Gibbon (Association of Wrens), Mr Gary Powell (rep Ships Corporal Harry Fuller of HMS Good Hope), Mr William Francklin (rep Captain Francklin of HMS Good Hope), Commodore MGW Rance (Association of Royal Navy Officers), Miss Sofia Arkhipkina (rep Young Falkland Islanders), Mr Robin Gilmore (rep George Vincent, HMS Monmouth), Miss Anastasia Markina (rep William Charles Bragg RMLA HMS Monmouth) and Mr Doug Harris (HMS Protector Association).

 

 

The standards were dedicated by the Chaplain of the Fleet, the Revd Scott Brown CBE QHC BD RN and after the singing of the Naval Hymn "Eternal Father, strong to save" the blessing was given by Bishop Nigel Stock before the standard bearers and their escorts left the church and paraded for inspection by the Second Sea Lord and Brigadier General Hein on the north side of the church. Cadets from the Pangbourne College provided escorts for some of the standards.


 

A Book of Remembrance was signed by those attending and this will be sent to the Falkland Islands for display in the Museum in Stanley.

There was a reception immediately after the service for invited guests at the Charing Cross (Amba) hotel on the Strand. Excerpts from the newly restored 1927 film of the Battles of Coronel and the Falkland Islands were shown by a representative of the British Film Institute (BFI).  There was also a slide show display of contemporary photographs of the Islands.