Towards the rear of the 7,000 marchers, I spotted members of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society, marching for the first time. As their wreath-bearer, Janet Keet-Black, 63, explained, they had felt that the time had come to apply for a place and the Legion had readily included them.
‘It is important for people to know that our people served,’ she said. ‘And it is important for us to acknowledge that if it had not been for all those who served, we would not have survived. Like the Jews, the Romanies were sent to Auschwitz.’
Among the group was Peter Mercer, 76, from Peterborough. Himself an old soldier from the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, he has two sons serving in the Grenadier Guards. His Romany family, he pointed out proudly, had done their bit with his father wounded at Dunkirk and Uncle Fred beheaded by the Japanese. ‘These men fought together, they died together and they should be remembered together,’ he said. ‘I am very pleased to be here.’
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Remembrance Sunday 2011: A pride that grows ever greater | Mail Online