|No One does it like the Brits, do they?|
I had heard gossip that the protesters were going to gather at Ludgate Circus on the funeral procession route. As it happens, my pre arranged vantage point was about 200 yards away from them. The crowds began lining the route in earnest around 1000hrs. In some places on Fleet St, they were 6 or 7 deep. The Old Bill were in their best dress uniforms, including white gloves and medals, nice to see instead of the high vis stuff we have become used to.
The gun carriage carrying the coffin was due at 1050. Looking down at the crowds on the pavement opposite me, there were young, old, black, white, all sorts. The protesters were kept at Ludgate Circus. As the sound of the band which was leading the cortege approached, there was a noticeable silence fell over the crowd. The protesters were still chanting their bile, but by now a line of cops in 'normal uniform' were lined up in front of them, just in case.
As the gun carriage and coffin passed by, there was a real 'hairs on the back of your neck stand up' moment. The crowd were clapping, they carried on clapping as the coffin passed and managed to drown out the protesters.
The most emotional moment for me was when after the service in St Pauls ended, the gun carriage and escort of Royal Horse Artillery came past again, where as before, the carriage carried the coffin, draped in the Union Flag, this time, the gun carriage was empty. There was a finality to that moment!
|F*ck Bobby Sands, he's dead!|
Finally, Today will go down in history as the day we buried one of our greatest ever politicians. I am proud to have served as a soldier during her terms in office, and I am proud to have been there today to see her get the send off she deserved. R.I. P. Baroness Thatcher.
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