Archive for November, 2018

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For the second year running and continuing the long tradition of its predecessor departments, Department for International Trade (DIT) staff  came together on Thursday 8 November 2018 in the 3 Whitehall Place Business Lounge for the annual departmental memorial service.

This year, as part of national and local commemorations (such as the Royal British Legion’s Thank You 100 campaign) to mark 100 years since the Armistice in 1918, the department was extremely honoured for the ceremony to be attended by some of the families and relatives of some of those named on the Board of Trade War Memorial, as well as Steve Waterman (Lambeth College) and representatives from the Summerstown 182 and Ham Remembers Research Groups.

The event was led by Catherine Vaughan, DIT’s Senior Civil Service Faith Champion and included a reading of the Kohima Epithet by DIT War Memorial Research Group Chair, Jeanette Rosenberg and a beautiful rendition of “The Long Day Closes” by the ETCETERA Civil Service Choir.  At 11am an official two minutes silence was observed, which was followed by the laying of eight wreaths:

  • Remembered by the Ministers of the Department for International Trade – Secretary of State for International Trade, 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 – Denise Syms – relative of one of men commemorated on memorial, Douglas Eric Basnett (1895-1917)
  • Lest We Forget In Memory of Those who Have No Known Grave and Who Have Died in International Military Conflict – Captain Nick MacDonald-Robinson, Royal Navy
  • 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 – Dylan Thomas, retired Army Captain (Int Corps)
  • Remembering the Sacrifice Made by those of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Asian Origin – Rodney Berkley, Chair of the DIT Cross Diversity and Inclusion Network
  • Remembered by the War Memorial Research Group and in Memory of Jill Knight – Mick Essex, War Memorial research group

After the commemoration, staff had time to view the “More than just a name” special WW1 commemorative exhibition which includes beautiful artwork produced by two schools – Northcote Primary School in Liverpool and St Julian’s School in Newport, Wales – who are both connected to the department by having former pupils who are named on the Board of Trade War Memorial.

The exhibition also includes artwork produced by the Woodcraft Folk (Wheatsheaf Enfield) group, a short history of WW1 and the memorial, highlighted stories of some of the men named and a montage of photos (the group have successfully managed to trace 97 photos so far!!). The exhibition also includes a selection of WW1 artefacts including British and German medals and helmets kindly loaned by former DTI staff member, Alan Humphries.

The exhibition is on show until Monday 12 November 2018.

The event concluded with a wonderful short talk by Lesley Iles, a former history teacher at Southend High School for Boys and author of a book about the lives of the men from that school, “They Rest from their Labours“. Lesley set the context for the war at both a national and local level and spoke about two of the Southend men – Stanley Victor Bradley (1893-1917) and Percy John Francis Dines (1892-1916) – who were typical of the 305 men named on the Board of Trade War Memorial and the wider WW1 generation. Her talk was a really fitting end to the morning’s commemorations.

We were delighted and honoured to welcome all our special visitors and to mark this important occasion in the life of the department and wider community. All who attended agreed it was a moving occasion to honour all who have died in WW1 and subsequent wars.

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