For the first time Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel involved in Remembrance events will come away with a keepsake to last a lifetime.
A special commemorative coin specially engraved with the Cenotaph on one side and the iconic poppy symbol on the other, has been produced and presented to the members of the ceremonial guard involved in this weekend’s events.
The embossed coin is also emblazoned with the timeless words ‘Glorious Dead’ and ‘Lest We Forget’ and, after weeks of intense preparation at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth, the sailors and marines of the guard have been gifted the special coin as a token of appreciation.
Jerry Kyd, newly promoted to Rear Admiral having successfully led HMS Queen Elizabeth through her first of class flying trials, presented the coin alongside Chaplain of the Fleet, The Venerable Martyn Gough, ahead of the guard’s departure for Armistice Day events in London this weekend.
Warrant Officer 1 Pat McCafferty is behind the coin’s inception and was commissioned to produce and design the special trinket, which also pays tribute to the centenary of the end of World War One.
‘It’s about reward and recognition. These guys train hard for this and the end product is what you see at the Cenotaph, which is broadcast around the world,’ he said.
‘I just felt we had to do something for them as a keepsake for all that effort and for representing the Naval Service. I think they’ll be impressed with them.’
Crown Royal Navy charity, Greenwich Hospital, sponsored the coin’s production and a new one will now be made every year for those marching at the Cenotaph, Royal Albert Hall and in the Lord Mayor’s Parade.
‘The coin is a simple but effective way of giving those involved something to remember the occasion by,’ WO1 McCafferty added.
‘We have different elements involved in the events, so it had to be a coin that would be meaningful for everyone.
‘The central piece was always going to be the Cenotaph, pictures of the guard and poppies. We mixed them together in different combinations to see what would work.
‘So we have the Cenotaph on the front and the poppy on the back marking the centenary of the end of the First World War.’
RAdm Kyd said: ‘This year’s commemoration for the centenary of the end of the First World War is really a very special thing but it’s also about all of those Armed Forces personnel who have given their lives in all the conflicts since then.
‘To mark this we have given each person a challenge coin as a token of our appreciation for representing the Naval Service this year.’