118/2012 - 70th Anniversary of the battle of El Alamein to be commemorated

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The courage and contribution of those who fought bravely in the Battle of El Alamein will be formally marked by the Ministry of Defence with a special Service of Thanksgiving, held in Westminster Abbey at 3pm on Saturday 27 October 2012. The Reverend Jonathan Woodhouse QHC Chaplain-General (Army) will give the address at the Evensong service.

Winston Churchill famously described the battle, which began on 23 October 1942 and ended on 4 November 1942, as the end of the beginning of the war. Led by General Montgomery, the Battle of El Alamein was the climax of months of struggle in the Western Desert as the Allies fought to keep open vital supply lines from the Mediterranean to the East.

Minister for Defence, Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan said:

The Battle of El Alamein was hugely significant as it was the first time the British gained the upper hand over the German Army. “The end of the beginning”. We should honour the survivors of the Battle and commemorate all those who took part. El Alamein turned the tide in the Western Desert – and arguably of the war.

Notes to editors

  • Those wishing to attend are asked to apply by email to or by telephone 0207 807 0970. Tickets will be posted by 19 October.

  • A reception will follow in Church House.

  • Commemorations to mark the 60th Anniversary of The Battle of El Alamein included a service at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, El Alamein, Egypt and at a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on 23 October 2002, followed by a reception.

For more information please contact: * Tom Callagher on 020 7218 0341/ 07500 121264 or by email at * Naomi Moore on 020 7218 6162/ 07836 721768 or by email at