The Civilian Services Contingent (CSC) parades every year to form part of the hollow rectangle around the Cenotaph; they form up on the Richmond Terrace side of Whitehall alongside the Army group, opposite the RAF.
The CSC comprises of 186 uniformed volunteers from the Police, Fire & Prison Services along with members of the St John Ambulance, British Red Cross and Ambulance Associations.
The Command of the CSC falls on a rotational basis to either the CFOA (Chief Fire Officers Association) or NPCC (National Police Chiefs Council) who nominate an officer of Chief Fire Officer Grade or Chief Constable. Either of these rank holders have credence & credibility with the rank and file members on parade having served in an operational environment. This year the command role is assumed by Chief Fire Officer David Etheridge OBE of Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service.
The CSC is split into two detachments of 90 each, each detachment being led by representatives of either the Fire & Rescue Service or the Police, holding either Deputy or Assistant Chief Fire Officer or Chief Superintendent or Superintendent rank.
Prior to taking their place on Whitehall the CSC gathered on the Saturday evening prior to Remembrance Sunday received a full briefing as to what is expected of them, this was the first time that they had come together, assembling as they have from all over the UK of GB and this year the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.
After the briefing a presentation was made to Denny Wise Founder of the Forces Children’s Trust. A £300.00 cheque from the photographer Peter Anderson plus collections and sales making a grand total of £1077.84 this amount was presented by Stewart Leach MBE, a retired member of the Royal Military Police and former member of the Prison Service who managed the CSC event along with his colleagues from DCMS MoD and the RBL. This ensures that the diverse and complicated parade is drawn together each year reflecting the solemnity of the event.