Cayman to lay wreath in UK for Remembrance Day

Cayman’s UK and Europe Representative Andre Ebanks will be among British Overseas Territories personnel laying wreaths at Sunday’s National Service of Remembrance in London.

It is the first time overseas territories have been invited to lay wreaths themselves, according to a Government Information Services statement on Thursday.

Historically, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs laid wreaths on behalf of all the British Overseas Territories.

Since 2001, there has been a campaign by the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association for the right to lay a wreath themselves. In 2008, the Labour government agreed that one wreath could be laid for all territories by the chairman of the association.

“This year, for the first time in the history of National Service of Remembrance, British Overseas Territories Representatives have been invited to lay wreaths for citizens of their respective Territories, in their own right. A very significant step in recognising the Overseas Territories’ efforts and sacrifices for the United Kingdom,” the statement said.

The National Service of Remembrance is held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall to mark Remembrance Day.

The ceremony, the statement said, honours the service of the UK Armed Forces and Merchant Navy community, British and Commonwealth veterans, the Allies that fought alongside the UK, and the civilian personnel involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts, to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect freedom.

Ebanks, commenting on the inclusion of overseas territories like the Cayman Islands in the ceremony, said the invitation to lay a wreath for the Cayman Islands was a great honour and was the direct result of an ongoing campaign by the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association.

“Caymanian service personnel have served in the UK Armed Forces and it is not only fitting, but appropriate, that they all be recognised, remembered and thanked at the National Service of Remembrance in London,” Ebanks said in the statement.