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2018 Memorial of the Innocents

Remembrance service at Westminster Abbey

Tuesday 20th November at 2pm GMT


The annual War Child Remembrance Service took place at the Memorial to the Innocents in the precinct of Westminster Abbey. As always, this was a very moving and emotional experience for those attending.

Organised by Professor Martin Parsons, who is a Beyond Conflict founding Trustee, the event was led by Canon Jane Sinclair, the Rev Hugh Ellis and Dr Sheik Ramzy, with contributions from others, including Edna Fernandes and Ed Newell, also BC founding Trustees and the BC Chairman.

Wreaths were laid by Martin and Edna, Lady Sarah-Jane Shirreff and school children aged from 4-18. Despite the very inclement weather more than 70 people attended the London service in what is the centenary year of the end of WW1.

This year, for the first time, the service included a Naming ceremony, followed by a minute’s silence. As Professor Parsons said, too often such ceremonies are about the anonymous dead and yet we must remind ourselves that there are real lives and families behind each of those names who were lost to war. This year, the ceremony named nine children from around the world who died in conflict through history. These young victims included children from WW1, from the wars in Iraq, Syria, Kashmir and from the current Rohingya crisis. The youngest victim named was two months old.

At the same time, services took place around the world to remember those children lost to war. In Helsinki and Stockholm there were services to commemorate the experiences of the Sotalapsi, the Finnish children who were evacuated to Sweden in 1939 and 1940.

This service is perhaps one of the most moving and powerful in remembrance of our war dead because it honours children. It is held every year. All are welcome to attend so watch this space for details of next year’s event.


Wreaths were laid by Martin and Edna, Lady Sarah-Jane Shirreff and school children aged from 4-18. Despite the very inclement weather more than 70 people attended the London service in what is the centenary year of the end of WW1.

Registered Charity Number: 1176499