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Archive for November, 2017

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Wreath layers involved in DIT’s 2017 Rededication and Remembrance Day Service held on Thursday 9 November 2017 in Business Lounge, 3 Whitehall Place, London, England

Department for International Trade (DIT) staff joined together on the morning of Thursday 9 November  2017 in the 3 Whitehall Place Business Lounge to attend a short commemorative rededication and unveiling service of the Board of Trade’s World War One war memorial.  The service was also held in conjunction with the department’s official marking of Remembrance Day, with wreaths laid by Tom Pursglove MP and Permanent Secretaries, Antonia Romeo and Crawford Falconer amongst others.

The entire service was particularly poignant since, despite being only just over a year old as a civil service department, the move of the memorial also connects DIT to its predecessor departments and is in some ways a home coming as the Board of Trade was at some point located at 55 Whitehall around the time of World War One. 

This war memorial is actually a beautiful replica of the original Roll of Honour board which was sadly lost at some stage during the Board’s history. The existing memorial was originally unveiled on 11 November 2002 by the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt. Since then a Remembrance Day service has been held every year by the Department for Trade and Industry and subsequent departments up to the present day.  

This year’s short service was organised by the DIT War Memorial Research Group and led by John Hill, who is the department’s Senior Civil Service (SCS) Champion for the DIT Faith Group. The service was inclusive and truly representative of the diversity of the department with short readings and poems by Muslim Network Representative, Yawar Naeem, Chair of the Disability Network and Jewish Network, Jeanette Rosenberg OBE and by War Memorial Research Group member Sara Wheeler MBE. 

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Following the rededication, as per tradition a series of wreaths were laid and a two minute silence was observed at 11am. 

A full list of the wreath layers and the commemorative dedication is provided below. 

  • Remembered by the Ministers of the Department for International Trade – Tom Pursglove MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Liam Fox MP
  • Remembered by the Staff of the Department for International Trade – Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary
  • Remembered by Relatives and Friends of the Fallen – Crawford Falconer, Second Permanent Secretary
  • Lest We Forget In Memory of Those who Have No Known Grave and Who Have Died in International Military Conflict – Captain Phil Milburn OBE RN, DSO and MoD
  • Remembering Their Sacrifice In Memory of All Our Fallen Colleagues – Sarah Pratt, ECJU and FCO
  • Remembered by Retired Service Personnel of the Department for International Trade – Richard McDonald-Webb AE Voluntary Reserves, DSO
  • Remembering the Sacrifice Made by those of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Asian Origin – Julian Lukwago, Chair of the DIT Ethnicity Network
  • Remembered by the War Memorial Research Group and in Memory of Jill Knight – Edwina Osborne, War Memorial research group

We were also extremely pleased that Steve Waterman, who was part of the Lambeth College team that carved this magnificent  replica memorial back in 2002, was also able to join us for the service.

Finally we would like to thank the department’s Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP for his support of the work of the DIT War Memorial Research Group. It was at his instigation that the memorial has moved to its present location in 3 Whitehall Place and will continue to play a role in the future life of the department.

The DIT War Memorial Research Group hopes that all staff and visitors take the time to reflect on the sacrifice and give a silent prayer of thanks for those honoured on the memorial both throughout November and the coming year. The memorial also acts as a focal point to remember those who in the modern day armed forces, including current Civil Service Reservists and other military personnel who work in the extended DIT community such as in the DIT Defence and Security Organisation.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn;  At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,  We will remember them.” (‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon, published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914)

The group welcomes anyone interested in the memorial to get in touch via war.memorial@trade.gsi.gov.uk. 

Ed Osborne

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Wreath layers during 2017 DIT commemorative service in honour of Board of Trade employees who died during World War One


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On Friday 10 November at 1pm, the Etcetera Civil Service Choir will be holding an Act of Remembrance to mark the centenary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele. Also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, Passchendaele lasted from 31st July to 10th November 1917, and resulted in 325,000 Allied and 260,000 German casualties including a number of former Board of Trade staff members whose names are recorded on the war memorial.

This commemorative event is being held at the Guards’ Chapel, Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, St James’s Park.

The music will include the London premiere of “In Flanders Fields” – five poems from WWI poets including Siegfried Sassoon and Vera Brittain set to music by Caz Berman – together with excerpts from Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna (Light Eternal).  There will also be readings based on diaries and letters.

The collective Dedication and Act of Remembrance will be led by the Senior Chaplain of the Guards’ Chapel.

Admission is free.  There will be a collection at the end for Armed Forces charities.

Etcetera, a workplace choir,  is the largest and most thriving choir in the Civil Service, with members drawn from a number of Government Departments and other institutions in Westminster and with an ever growing reputation as simply the Civil Service Choir. You can find out more about the group and their other forthcoming events at http://www.civilservicechoir.org.uk.  You can also follow the group on Facebook and Twitter @etceterachoir. 

 

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