Last night Charlie Martell, Lt, Troop Commander, 217 Field Squadron (EOD) Volunteers, was among hundreds of ex-servicemen and women invited by The Royal British Legion to the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall to pay their respects to Britain’s fallen heroes.
The Queen and other senior members of the Royal family joined an audience of veterans and their families to honour Britain’s war dead. The Royal British Legion’s annual event was hosted by, Huw Edwards and was both a moving tribute to the fallen and a celebration of their memory through music, readings and song. Poppies fell from the ceiling of the hall at the end of the evening, during the two-minute silence, to represent those who have died in combat over the years.
Britain relies heavily on the contribution made by Reserves to our Armed Forces. They continue to provide a strategic reserve for UK Defence but have also increasingly demonstrated their utility on operations. The TA makes up a quarter of the British Army and consists of 42,000 part-time volunteer soldiers and they make up around nine percent of British Forces in Afghanistan. Members are expected to attend one night a week at their local centre and give up 30 days a year for training weekends and camps.
Martell, who will be rowing 6,000 miles from Japan to the USA in 2012, aims to become the first unsupported Briton to cross the North Pacific Ocean and is raising money for two charities Give Them a Sporting Chance and Toe in the Water. Martell, who began his career in the British Army as a Commando trained bomb disposal specialist, could be rowing across the “Everest of The Oceans” for up to 6 months with all his food and provisions on board his 7 metre ocean-rowing boat.
Martell, 40, and a staunch supporter of the Reserve Forces had this to say about the Festival of Remembrance. “This time of year is particularly poignant to both my fellow Officers and Soldiers of my Regiment as we remember our friends who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We Will Remember Them”.