100 Years on from Armistice, the nation remembers

Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family joined thousands of people to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War on Sunday 11th November, 2018 as part of the traditional National Service of Remembrance.

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A two-minute silence was held at 11am and wreaths laid at the Cenotaph to commemorate the servicemen and women killed in all conflicts from the First World War onwards.

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales laid a wreath on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen and an Equerry on behalf of The Duke of Edinburgh. The Prime Minister also attended the service along with other members of the Cabinet, former Prime Ministers and 765 Armed Forces personnel.

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Accompanying The Prince of Wales were members of the Royal Family including The Duke of Cambridge, The Duke of Sussex Prince Henry of Wales, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal, and The Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent. The Queen watched from a balcony of the nearby Foreign & Commonwealth Office, as did The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duchess of Sussex, The Countess of Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

This year the event will take on an additional poignancy as the nation marks 100 years since the signing of the Armistice which ended the war on the Western Front at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

The Massed Bands of the Guards Division led musicians from all three services in playing traditional music for the service, including the Last Post.

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Federal German President His Excellency Frank-Walter Steinmeier laid a wreath on behalf of the German people. It is the first time since the Cenotaph was inaugurated in 1920 that a representative of Germany took part in the National Service of Remembrance and his attendance symbolises the peace and friendship that exists between our two countries today.

Members of the armed forces led the nation in marking the centenary of the Armistice at the National Service of Remembrance, ending four years of First World War centenary commemorations.

Personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force were on parade at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London, as members of the Royal Family and senior politicians lay wreaths after the two minutes’ silence.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Carter were in attendance at the Cenotaph. The chiefs of staff of the three services laid wreaths at the Cenotaph on behalf of the armed forces.

The annual Veterans’ Parade will follow the service, before 10,000 members of the public walk in procession past the Cenotaph to pay their respects.

British armed forces personnel around the world will pause to remember those who served and died in the First World War and all those who have given their lives in the service of the armed forces.

Over the last year UK troops have been deployed on 35 operations in more than 30 countries around the world.

At 12:30pm after the wreath laying and the traditional Royal British Legion’s Veterans Parade, bells begun to ring out across the country and internationally. This will echo the spontaneous outpouring of celebration on 11 November 1918 when news spread of the Armistice.

Ten thousand people then process past the Cenotaph in ‘A Nation’s Thank You - The People’s Procession’ to pay tribute to the brave men and women who fought in the First World War.

The day concluded with a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey which will gave thanks for peace and the return of the many servicemen who came back to their families.

“To be at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday is a privilege and provides us with the opportunity for reflection along with millions of people in countries that continue to be strong allies. The First World War touched communities across the globe and I commend all those who have helped us remember the First World War generation. We will never forget them or the sacrifice of thousands of British and Commonwealth troops who have given their lives in other conflicts.”

Gavin Williamson
Defence Secretary

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