Remembrance for British Army Sergeant Jamie Simeon, of 1st Battalion Scots Guards, is all the more poignant this year as he gives a reading of Ode to Tumbledown at the Durham Cathedral Festival of Remembrance on Saturday, 12 November.
Jamie’s father Sergeant John Jamieson Simeon, 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, was killed on Tumbledown Mountain in the Falkland Islands on the night of 13/14 June 1982, during the now infamous battle.
He died aged 36 when Jamie was just nine after being shot by an Argentine sniper.
Jamie, from Richmond, says it will be an honour to read the famous ode in memory of his father and those who died during the Falklands conflict, and the other conflicts and World Wars.
“The poem was written in the days following the battle on Tumbledown Mountain by Lt Mark Mathewson, who was a young Platoon Commander in the 2nd Bn Scots Guards,” said Jamie
“It is a direct connection in words to the battle fought on the evening of 13/14 June 1982. The Argentine surrender came the next day.
“The words are very reflective to the loss felt on both sides and act as a conduit for us to remember those that have gone before us in the service of our country.”
Being a member of the Scots Guards is a family affair for Jamie, aged 49.
His father, uncle and brother all served with the regiment and his nephew is currently serving in the regiment and is based in Wellington Barracks.
Married Jamie, a father of two himself, said of his reason for joining the Army: “It was always an ambition to do so but the Falklands Conflict and my family’s history with the Scots Guards added an extra incentive.”
Jamie, is currently a Regimental Mentoring Support Officer attached to 102 Bn REME, in Durham.
He’s been in the Army for 24 years and has deployed on operations to Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.
He has visited the Falkland Islands himself four times during his service and visited the spot where his father was killed.
Jamie’s father served as a Platoon Sergeant in 13 Platoon, Left Flank Company, 2nd Bn Scots Guards and saw active service in Malaya/Borneo, Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands.
Reflecting on the importance of Remembrance, Jamie said people should honour the fallen, “in their own way. Be it private or public, it’s very much a personal matter. Be thankful that the freedoms and democracy we all enjoy today have over time come at a great human cost. World War 2, Korea, Northern Ireland, Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan.”
Following the recital at the Festival of Remembrance, the theme of which is the commemoration of the Falklands War, the 102Bn REME Pipe Band will play Crags of Tumbledown Mountain.
The event, which starts at 1930hrs, will culminate with the poignant Muster and Act of Remembrance, with thousands of poppies falling silently from the cathedral’s central tower.
The Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the Band and Bugles Durham Army Cadet Force, award-winning social enterprise group Enter CIC, and acclaimed northern soprano Charlotte Potter will also be performing at the event organised by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Army’s National Charity since 1944.