On Wednesday, 9 November branch members will be at The Cruise Terminal at Dover to attend the Port of Dover Remembrance Service.
Wreaths will be laid at the Railwaymen's Memorial inside what used to be the dockside station.
Also in attendance will be members of the annual pilgrimage to Brussels by the British Torch of Remembrance.
The idea of a torch to act as a symbol of remembrance for fallen comrades in the First World War originated in Belgium in 1926. Inspired by an idea of The Belgian National Veterans Federation (FNC), representatives bearing torches from the nine provinces of Belgium assembled annually on 11th November at the national memorial to the Unknown Warrior in Brussels, the Colonne du Congres. There, having paid homage, the torches would be extinguished for that year. The popularity of this symbolic act spread rapidly throughout Belgium so that several hundred local torches were borne to the main provincial towns and their spirit was handed over to the provincial torch which then proceeded to Brussels.
Following the end of World War ll, a group of Belgian officers in London decided to see the permanent flame rekindled at the Colonne du Congres; it had been extinguished by the Germans during the war. Their torch was lit at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey and transported to Brussels to rekindle the permanent flame there.
Over the years, torches from countries such as France, Brazil, USA and The Netherlands, where Belgian ex-servicemen had settled, joined the pilgrimage and in 1965 a British Torch first made the journey to Brussels. Its guardians were a group of ‘Old Contemptibles’, comrades of the old Belgian Fifth Army. Since then, the simple passage of time has led to the British Torch, always lit at the tomb in Westminster Abbey, being now the only one that represents the Anglo-Belgian community. Its members are proud to be associated with an organisation of such historic, diplomatic, religious and military provenance. The pilgrimage is actively supported by the Duke of York's Royal Military School who always provide a guard of honour for the service at Dover.
After the main ceremony, the Dover Society will lay a wreath at the plaque which commemorates the arrival of the Unknown Warrior in Dover on his way to London for burial in Westminster Abbey in November 1920.