CI ministers to discuss laying wreaths at Cenotaph

GUERNSEY and Jersey’s chief ministers will discuss whether the Channel Islands should lay a wreath at Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London.

ROYAL Remembrance/Cenotaph

GUERNSEY and Jersey’s chief ministers will discuss whether the Channel Islands should lay a wreath at Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London.

It follows a request from former deputy Tony Webber, who has written to both Deputy Peter Harwood and Senator Ian Gorst.

‘The chief minister will discuss this with Senator Gorst – to whom the letter is also addressed – at the next opportunity,’ the Policy Council confirmed.

Mr Webber said he had made the request as increasing numbers of islanders felt it was appropriate.

‘It was noticeable that Gibraltar laid a wreath at the Cenotaph this year, and there had previously been a campaign by the British Overseas Territories to be able to lay their own wreath.

‘It is felt that Guernsey and Jersey should be represented in their own right, in the same way as Gibraltar.’

Comments for: "CI ministers to discuss laying wreaths at Cenotaph"


If they are considering laying a wreath to act on islanders sentiments they can also consider mine and air them when appropriate - it should be a secular ceremony. The cenotaph was originally intended to remember all the dead and also without C of E privilege the ceremony can be inclusive to all people wanting to pay their respects.




Not unreadable if you can read english :P


I say invite Pussy Riot along to perform at the exact moment the silence is timed to happen. It would most definitely liven things up a bit.

I have never been to one of these events before but I'd be inclined to make the effort. It would make a lasting impression on the survivors too I bet.



To think that people actually died so that a maggot like you could live in freedom. Never has a pseudonym been more apt.


You left your comment on mine as if it were somehow related to it/myself or my intentions but im struggling to see how.

Are you suggesting I'm incorrect about the cenotaph originally being for all dead that fell? The creator was conscious it represented those of other and no faith as they also fought and died for their country. They also rejected a cross and christian inscription on the cenotaph on this exact basis. That way everyone was respected in equal manner - a sentiment not reflected by a C of E led service.

Elis Bebb


You make an interesting point about the service, but the anomaly is the status of the established church. Given that the Queen would be in attendance, it is automatically a religious service as she is both head of state and head of the church. The service is designed to be inclusive of all, but that does have a religious side and obviously would have given the queen's position.

We frequently forget that we live in a form of theocratic state, it's strange to hear that of course since we think of theocracies as being Saudi Arabia and Iran. But I don't think that the CofE is as controlling as those examples.


Elis Bebb

The fact the queen attends does not make it automatically a religious service. That is false. The fact she is head of State and the head of Church does not then mean events she attends must be religious. She attends the Royal Variety Show and I don't see it being turned into a religious service. She can wear her different "hats" as it speaks on different occasions like the rest of us do.

More interesting history: It was a national service which King George V himself attended with just a two minutes service. Zero religious intervention or imposition. No bishops or prayers. This flies in the face of what you just made up to support its continued imposition.

More research:

"The unprecedented mass emotion surrounding the monument made the

Church of England very fearful that an alternative state cult was emerging as

the centre of the Nation’s and Empire’s grief over the more than one million

dead. The tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey was devised by

the Church as an alternative religious site for the memorialisation of the war

dead. Sprung on the cabinet at short notice the proposal and the ceremonial

associated with the passage of the body past the Cenotaph at 1100 am on 11

November 1920, on its way to the Abbey, enabled the Church to introduce

Christian religious rituals at the ceremonial at the Cenotaph."

Nothing to do with the queen. Everything to do with C of E imposing itself.

Elis Bebb

Unsurprising that we don't agree. I believe your sources may be slightly anti CoE, could I ask who your source is for history? Also, given that it's a commemoration service, would the queen want it devoid of religion? I know that she takes her role as head of the church quite seriously.

Could I also ask how was it that the tomb of the unknown soldier was such a church idea? I don't know the details but I do know that it was done both in Britain & France as a joint project, though I do accept that the French tomb is in the Arc De Triomph.


Deputy Bebb - one of the sources is Prof. Norman Bonney, who at the time of writing was a member of the Council of Management of the National Secular Society. Not exactly the most neutral of commentators, but I suppose as a former church warden of the Town Church you're not exactly neutral either! ;-)

I must say I don't have an opinion either way about the ceremony at the Cenotaph but I'm not a fan of church / state entanglement (it's trouble for both in my humble opinion) so on that particular issue I have to agree with Dani - albeit for very different reasons I suspect!


PLP is correct on that source yes.

I'm afraid you can easily verify royalty did attend to begin with - without anything but the 2 minutes silence being in place. As seriously as you think the queen takes religion (and I'm sure she does) it does not give her a right to impose it as you believe on every occasion she attends. It does not give reason to continue imposing it either. It should be removed.

It was a national service to remember the fallen and those are the ones that are important. That is who it is about. Everyone from Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Christians from other denominations and non-believers.

As an aside I extremely pleased we are flying our flags at half mast for Nelson Mandela. I believe we can all agree on that too.


Whatever might have happened in the past, what I - and I'm sure you - would not want to happen is for this ceremony to be hijacked by any group looking to further an agenda - be that the National Secular Society or indeed the Church of England.

As you rightly say, the ceremony belongs to those who have lost family and/or comrades in war and they should have the right to choose what goes on. The reason I don't have an opinion either way is because - thank God - I have never lost someone in war. I therefore don't feel I have the right to tell them what the ceremony should be like.

Although you'll never please all, if the majority are happy with the current tradition no problem; if they want a secular ceremony that's also fine by me.


i do hope there is no fighting over who lays a wreath first.

Barry Lyndon

O Lyndon, Lyndon! wherefore art thou Lyndon...let's have a pearl of wisdom from you on this, eh..?


If we were to send a wreath to the Cenotaph my concern is who would lay it? Presumably if the Chief Minister / Bailiff / Lt Governor were to go to the Cenotaph that individual would not be here for the local ceremony.

It is not for me to decide whether that's acceptable or not however I sincerely hope they ask stakeholders (particularly veterans groups and families or people who have died in service) whether they are happy for one of the islands top officials to be at the Cenotaph and not here for what is, for them, a very solemn and poignant moment.


hope it will be a ex serviceman, and not a week end jolly brigade



As someone has mentioned before, who would get the weekend away in London?

Is our local service of remembrance to be downgraded to second in importance?

Isn`t this just a reason to get ourselves noticed on the day for a free plug of publicity on TV?

There is already a wreath laid on behalf of the Commonwealth countries, by a diplomat, that can`t attend so why not just accept that "laying" and stick to our own service?

I am an ex serviceman and I am ashamed that anyone would even think of missing our service(small and more personal) for a large public display.

Our servicemen who died for the island and country deserve to be remembered "at home" and not because some politician wants a weekend in London to do his Xmas shopping and have his/her name on TV.

If this comes about then shame on ANY politician that votes for it and especially the one who volunteers to attend The Cenotaph in London and not our local one.

Can one of the deputies please tell everyone just how many of our Deputies actually attended the last local services and parades?

I bet they weren`t all there.

Take this suggestion, BY A FAILED, EX DEPUTY and consign it where it belongs, in the bin.

What a very childish attitude to take,

"Well Gibraltar has laid a wreath so I want to lay one too."


Get a grip Becks …Why should anyone be ashamed if they what to go to the bigger London ceremony rather than the Guernsey one? At least they are still commemorating the fallen


"There is already a wreath laid on behalf of the Commonwealth countries, by a diplomat, that can`t attend so why not just accept that “laying” and stick to our own service?"

It's a strange day when I agree with anything becks says. At least in part, anyway.

The London ceremony and remembrance day as a whole in the UK has been hijacked by the "Support Our Troops" brigade and been turned into a farce of pro-military, pro-war propaganda and I'd rather Guernsey had no part in it.


Pro-military, pro-war propaganda, what utter nonsense. You clearly have no respect for the people who fell so you could write such rubbish.


The idea of a representative of Guernsey doing it one year and one from Jersey is a very good idea, helps to keep the costs down and also shows the CI can work together. For me it should be the Bailiff from Guernsey, but no doubt there will be some in-fighting over who should represent us.

Tony Webber


Most towns and cities throughout the British Isles have their own Sunday Remembrance services, and it does not detract from them having some form of representation at the National Cenotaph service.

I have spoken to numerous people in Guernsey and Jersey on this subject, particularly members of the British Legion, and have had overwhelming support for this proposal across the Channel Islands.

The idea of the respective Chief Ministers taking it in turns to represent the Channel Islands is exactly so that they are not taken away from attending their own Guernsey and Jersey services every year.

It is also more cost effective, just having one representative attending. It is hardly a weekend jolly but an important event where more and more people feel we should have representation.

I think it is wrong to try to shoot the messenger with derogatory remarks, such as "failed politician." Concentrate on the message ! As it happens, I was elected five times to the States of Guernsey. Losing an election/s does not make you a failed politician, but someone who was unsuccessful in the elections. If all people who were unsuccessful in elections were dubbed "failed politicians" there would be a long list, including Winston Churchill.

Channel Islanders have served Britain over many years in many conflicts, including present, and most people want this fully recognised.

The Commonwealth Countries lay their own wreaths and the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary had the responsibility for representing the British Overseas Territories, but there is no reason why, like Gibraltar, we cannot lay our own wreath.

The Channel Islands should show our solidarity and respect, in line with other jurisdictions and organisations.

Tony Webber


I think most people involved with Cenotaph Services would highly resent any implication that they are in some way pro war.

Most people who have had direct experience of war do not wish it on anyone else.

It is nothing to do with supporting any war, because the Armed Force have to obey the orders of the politicians.

If it is seen as supporting the Armed Forces for the sacrifices they made and still make, there is nothing wrong with that.

The service is about honouring and respecting, not about supporting any war.

We all have our personal views about whether Britain should be in any conflict.

That is all irrelevant to what the Cenotaph service is all about though.