The Countess of Wessex has paid tribute to the hundreds of members of the Metropolitan Police who were killed in the First World War at a special commemoration in London. Sophie joined officers of all ranks at the memorial service held at St. Martin in the Fields at Trafalgar Square.
During the service, marking the centenary of the end of the conflict, the Countess read ‘In Flanders Field’, one of the best-known poems written during the Great War. It was composed by Major John McCrae in 1915 after he conducted the funeral of a young lieutenant in his own regiment, the Canadian Field Artillery, and its poignant lines evoking the poppies in Flanders fields have remained a moving tribute to all those killed in the hundred years since.
There was also a reading by Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, during the service, and music from the Met Police Choir.
The Metropolitan Police were on the front line of defence when aerial raids began over London in the first months of the Great War. In total, 374 police officers and 20 civilian staff lost their lives in the conflict. The force had to take action 65 times as a result of raids, and 337 medals were given to its officers during the course of the war.
The Countess of Wessex will also join other members of the Royal Family at a series of remembrance events over the weekend. The Queen will lead them at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday and at the traditional service at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday itself. The Earl and Countess of Wessex will travel to Wales after Sunday’s ceremony to take part in an act of commemoration marking the centenary of the Great War at Llandaff Cathedral that afternoon.