Remembrance exhibition in Portcullis House
House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle is to open a special exhibition to mark the impact of Parliament on the armed forces.
The exhibition, which will run from Monday 7 November to Thursday 1 December, has been organised in collaboration with the Royal British Legion and will feature stories and photographs of former MPs who have served, including Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, the late former leader of the Liberal Democrats, and Lord Healey, the late former chancellor of the exchequer and deputy leader of the Labour Party.
Ashdown, who died in 2018, served in the Royal Marines for 12 years, including in Kuwait, Borneo and Hong Kong. He also led a commando company in his native Northern Ireland.
Healey died in 2015 as the oldest sitting member of the House of Lords - he served in the army during the Second World War.
The exhibition will showcase memorials to MPs and parliamentary staff who died during both world wars, as well as some of the laws passed by Parliament that were relevant to war efforts, including the Military Service Act of 1916 that imposed conscription. The Act made men aged between 18 and 41 liable for service in the army unless they were medically exempt.
Sir Lindsay said he hoped the exhibition would “shine a light” on Parliament’s role during conflict. “Life is short and remembrance is a very important time of the year,” he added. “The Royal British Legion remembers them, the UK Parliament community remembers them. We will remember them.”
Alongside the exhibition, on 7 November the Speaker will lead a service of remembrance in New Palace Yard, where MPs will plant crosses and other religious stakes to honour the service of their constituents. The theme of this year’s remembrance is “service”.
Get the inside track on what MPs and Peers are talking about. Sign up to The House's morning email for the latest insight and reaction from Parliamentarians, policy-makers and organisations.