On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, soldiers on all sides put down their weapons, as Armistice was reached, effectively ending the First World War.
92 years on, Military Times takes a look at what is going on across the UK this year to mark Remembrance Day.
Smashing record for poppies
Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day as it is also known to many, is fast approaching. A wide arrays of events are being held across the country throughout November in order to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
On the 4th November, hundreds of volunteers will take to the streets for the City of London Poppy Day, hoping to smash last year’s record of £60,000 collected in a single day, and Bristol City Poppy Day, with similar events to follow nationwide.
For rugby enthusiasts, Harlequins will travel to Leicester Tigers, the Guinness Premiership Champions, on the 5th, for a charity Poppy Match.
There will widespread coverage across the television.
The BBC will be running a Remembrance Week series, fronted by Crimewatch presenter and ex-soldier, Rav Wilding – the first time the broadcaster has devoted a specific weeklong schedule to mark the event. According to Wilding, speaking back in June, it “will not only reveal the incredible and emotive stories from individuals who have fought and are still fighting, but will be an uplifting and inspiring series about bravery, camaraderie and companionship.”
Liam Keelan, who commissioned the series for the BBC noted that it “reflects our commitment to bring the daytime audience more programmes which delve into social history.” It addition to the radio coverage listed below, BBC Radio 2 will broadcast ‘Pete Waterman’s Armistice Day Special’ on Sunday.
The sound of silence
This year’s Remembrance Day witnesses the release of a groundbreaking charity single featuring a whole host of British celebrities, from musicians Mark Ronson and Thom Yorke, sportsman Andy Murray, Doctor Who’s David Tennant, to the Prime Minister, David Cameron. The Royal British Legion hope to make chart history with their ‘2 Minute Silence’ track (released 7 November) boldly featuring not music, but empty space for contemplation in a mark of respect. All proceeds will go towards the Poppy Appeal, helping veterans and serving soldiers.
March For Honour
Meanwhile this thursday marks the beginning of a ‘March For Honour’ led by the event creator and director, Ram Pattern.
Four separate teams composed of former and current servicemen and women hope to raise £1 million by marching one mile to commemorate every British fatality suffered in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.
They will do so whilst carrying forty pounds of equipment in full military attire. Having started their respective journeys in several locations across Britain, the teams will unite en route to London in time for 11th November, headed for the Royal Albert Hall in deliverance of the Book of Remembrance. The public can do their bit by making donations, via the official page found on www.marchforhonour.com or visiting www.poppy.org.uk/donate.
Overview of events in London
- RCS Remembrance Day Concert: The Royal Choral Society, Southwark Cathedral, 11 November – Choir performing Bach’s Suite No. 3, Handel’s Founding Hospital Anthem and Hayden’s Nelson Mass.
- The Making of Modern Remembrance: National Army Museum, 11 November – A lecture from Julie Summers.
- Festival of Remembrance: Royal Albert Hall, 13 November – This annual event running since 1927 will be broadcast to a global audience of millions, on radio and TV. Highlights will be played the following day on BBC Radio 2.
- National Service of Remembrance: The Cenotaph, Whitehall, 14 November – The Queen joins servicemen and women for wreath laying ceremony and 2 minutes of silence. This will be covered on BBC Radio 4 with Nicholas Witchell.
- Remembrance service: Museum of London Docklands
- Remembrance service: National Army Museum
- Multi-faith Act of Remembrance: The Royal Artillery Museum, 14 November – Free of charge event celebrates the sacrifices made by all faiths in global conflicts.
For our full feature on the loss of life in the Great War, and specifically the Somme, see the December issue of Military Times. An excerpt can be found here : The Somme Revised: New Interpretations.