The photograph above was taken in the Guards Chapel within London’s Wellington Barracks ahead of last Sunday’s official Remembrance Sunday commemorations. Over 50 MPs gathered to pay their respects to the fallen of the two world wars and conflicts since. A wreath was laid on behalf of all those present by Father of The House and former member of the Royal Sussex Regiment, Sir Peter Tapsell MP.
A further aim of the event was to highlight the number of MPs with current or previous military service in a regular or reservist capacity. With over 50 having served either in the regular forces or in reservist organisations, it is a significant percentage of the whole – some one in 13. The MPs in attendance represented military service in a variety of operational theatres including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland.
The gathering was organised by Mark Francois, the Armed Forces Minister (who is at the centre of the photograph, front row), who said that he wanted “to highlight the significant military experience that exists in the House of Commons and the value that this brings to Parliament and the nation. But I think many people have been surprised to learn that the number is quite so high.” Readers who click on the photograph will then see an enlarged version, which will enable them to read the names.