Back to the Foreign Office for the annual Memorial gathering to remember colleagues who fell in the line of duty. 2015 here.
This year Boris Johnson led the ceremony at the foot of the Grand Staircase for his first time. He gave a nicely worked speech – he has a new speechwriter who worked at a national newspaper, ie someone who can turn a deft phrase.
These gatherings get more poignant as the years zip by. The same families and many familiar faces, all that tad older, united once again in their private thoughts of their lost relatives and colleagues, wiping away a tear as the FCO Choir sings so beautifully, wondering how life might have turned out if not for that split second of disaster. Current FCO people line the balcony above the Staircase – always an impressive turnout.
Then upstairs for the coffee and biscuits with the Foreign Secretary and senior FCO officials in the impossibly grand Locarno Rooms. A chance to catch up and gossip about Brexit, Trumpism, life, children and other such topics.
Next year is the 20th anniversary of the OHR helicopter calamity high on a lonely Bosnian mountainside that took the lives of Charles Morpeth and other international officials. I wonder what might be planned in Bosnia for that?