Perse student ‘humbled’ to take part in Festival of Remembrance
14 Nov 2019
Robert Almqvist (Upper Sixth) had the honour of representing the Combined Cadet Force in the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.
He was one of three cadets chosen to escort the CCF standard into the arena at both the matinee and evening performance, the latter being in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family and televised live on BBC One.
Robert, who is lead cadet of the Perse CCF (RAF) section, was elated to be part of such a poignant occasion of remembrance, which included tributes to mark the 75th anniversary of the pivotal World War II battles of Monte Cassino. Kohima, Imphal and D Day.
He said: “It was amazing to be part of such a globally significant event and to be around so many inspirational people and hear so many of their stories.”
Robert travelled to London the day before the event and met the other cadets before taking part in rehearsals at the Royal Albert Hall prior to the two performances, which featured stars such as James Blunt, Leona Lewis and Jeff Goldblum.
“Parading in the Royal Albert Hall in front of hundreds of people, including the Queen, and a multi-million national TV audience, was amazing,” he said. “However, another highlight was getting to meet some of the service people.
“It was very emotive to be around the veterans, in particular. Hearing their stories about some of the things they went through and how happy they were to be able to be there to honour the sacrifice their friends made was really humbling.
“Whatever your station, race, creed or colour, everyone’s family has been touched by this.”
Robert, who joined the CCF in Year 9, added that he would encourage other pupils to join the section, which will be looking to build on last year’s third-place finish when they take part in the CCF Eastern area competition later this month.
He said: “We’ve gradually grown the section over the last few years. The larger the section we have, the more exciting it is, the more things we can do and the more opportunities we have.”