The United Kingdom and Commonwealth will once again respect two minutes silence next week, as Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday once again asks the public to bring to mind not only the end of World War One, but those who have died in armed conflict in the years following the armistice.
Every year, the eyes of the world focus on London where the Remembrance Sunday parade and ceremony takes place, with the Cenotaph in Whitehall being the landmark veterans of previous wars stand to attention at. Previous years had seen Queen Elizabeth II lay a wreath on the memorial, while this year will mark King Charles III’sfirst Remembrance Sunday as monarch.
Representatives of the Armed Forces, Fishing Fleets and Merchant Air and Navy will also be in attendance at the Cenotaph, as well as faith communities and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries.
Remembrance Day is split across two days, with the first two minute silence occurring on Friday (November 11) at 11am, a tradition that dates back to 1919 when King George requested the notion. “The thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead,” he said.
The first Sunday closest to November 11 is annually appointed for the full scale Remembrance Service, allowing those currently on leave from serving, or who have served in the Armed Forces previously, to make the march to the Cenotaph in Whitehall for a second moment of silence at 11am next Sunday (November 13).
What is the order of service from Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday?
The Government’s website has released the order of service in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday, when parades will have made their way to the Cenotaph for the memorial event, which will also be screened live on television.
- 8am: Whitehall opens to the public. Space will be limited. Please allow time to clear the police security procedures.
- 9am: The Royal British Legion (RBL) detachments form up on Horse Guards Parade and on Whitehall.
- From 10.30am: All detachments form up on the Cenotaph.
- From 10.50am: Participants process out onto the Cenotaph.
- 11am: National two-minute silence marked by the firing of guns from King’s Troop on Horse Guards Parade. Cenotaph Service commences.
- 11.25: Cenotaph Service concludes and The Royal British Legion detachments disperse past the Cenotaph.
Can I attend the national service at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday?
The GOV.UK website states that no tickets or passes are needed for the event and the public are welcome to watch the ceremony from the pavements along Whitehall and Parliament Street. However, entry may be limited if the area becomes full.
There will be video screens north of the Cenotaph, near the green directly in front of the statue of Field Marshal Montgomery, and in the lay-by outside Dover House (between Horse Guards and Downing Street) and close to the junction of Whitehall Place. There is also a screen south of the Cenotaph on the corner of King Charles Street.
You can watch the event on television on the BBC, Sky and ITV live from 8am. The National Service of Remembrance will also be broadcast live on YouTube by the Deparment for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Why are Poppies symbolic of Remembrance Day?
Poppies, generally worn close to and during Remembrance Sunday, were chosen due to the flowers being one of the first to grow on the battlefields of World War One. The red symbolises hope after the conflict and they have been used as a symbol since 1920.
45 millions poppies are sold every year and any money donated goes to aid the veterans of the armed forces.