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In an interview for the Daily Telegraph on Monday 28 December 2015, Jools Holland compares the BBC to “museums, royal parks and public swimming baths.” I think that’s a compliment.

We all have one thing in common – a desire to keep the Parks at the forefront of horticultural, landscape and cultural excellence.

WW1 memorial ceremony

WW1 memorial ceremony

Photograph by Paul Keene

On 7 November 2018 a ceremony was held at Brompton Cemetery to remember those employees of His Majesty’s Office of Works (HMOW) who died in World War 1. Over the last one hundred years the Royal Parks administered by HMOW has been split into The Royal Parks, Historic Royal Palaces and English Heritage, and it was representatives from these organisations, family descendants and student horticulturalists who paid their respects.

The ceremony started with the inauguration of the Chelsea Pensioners Battlefields to Butterflies meadow by the Reverend Steven Brokes at the Chelsea Pensioners Monument, which commemorates the 2,065 Chelsea Pensioners buried there. Around thirty Pensioners assisted students horticulturalists and children from the Isle of Wight in preparing the meadow.

A memorial plaque with the names of the 24 employees of The Royal Parks has been placed in the south east colonnade in the main avenue close by the Chapel. This was unveiled by; Loyd Grossman, Chairman of the Royal Parks Charity; Nicola Andrews, Palaces Group Director of Historic Royal Palaces; Toby Beasley, Head Gardener at Osborne House and; Cecily Ettringham a first year apprentice in The Royal Parks. The 10th Essex Living History Group provided the Guard of Honour and a bugler from the Welsh Guards sounded the Last Post and Reveille. The Blessing of the memorial plaque was given by the Reverend Canon Anthony Howe, Chaplain to the Chapel Royal.

Photograph by Paul Keene

The memorial plaque is to remain in the colonnade and its details placed on the Imperial War Museums’ War Memorials Register.

Several press photographers were on site and ITV London News recorded Carol Meacher, the granddaughter of Arthur Berry a gardener at Hampton Court who was killed in 1918, and Loyd Grossman for an item in their evening news programme.

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