Every November the people of the UK stop to remember those that have fallen in not only in the two great wars, but every battlefield and every conflict up to those in which our armed forces are involved today. The 11th of November goes by a number of names, to many it is simply poppy day, to others it is Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. It was at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month during the First World War in 1918 that the guns that guarded the Western Front fell silent, marking the end of four long years of bloody death and destruction. In honour of this event at 11 o’clock in the morning on the 11th November every year the country observes a two minute silence as a mark of respect to those that gave their lives in defence of their country. Remembrance Sunday takes place on the second Sunday of the month, it is the Sunday that falls closest to November 11th. This year remembrance events and services will take place on Sunday 10th.
Events Around the City
As usual there will be a service of remembrance held at the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall. The parade is organised in association with the Royal British Legion who coordinate the march of soldiers past and present in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen or her representative. The event is televised and it is during the event that the two minute silence is observed. However this is not the only event that is taking place in the city and you may find that you are elsewhere when the two minutes silence is signalled.
Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance
The Field of Remembrance is a poignant memorial to the men and women who have fought and served in our countries armed forces since World War I. It officially opens at 11am on November 7th and attendance is strictly by ticket only. Members of the public will be able to gain admittance after 12 noon though numbers will be monitored to ensure that as many people as possible are given the opportunity to come and pay their respects. The Field of Remembrance is located in the grounds of iconic Westminster Abbey and once officially opened will be open to the public between 9am – 4pm until the 17th November 2013.
The Royal Air Force Museum
There will be a remembrance ceremony taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum on Sunday 10th November. It will be held alongside the museum’s Lancaster Bomber. The Last Post will be sounded followed by the two minute silence. There will then be a short service dedicated to the memory of those that gave their lives in the name of their country. The service will end with the sounding of the Reveille. Members of the public are very welcome to attend.
War Requiem – Benjamin Britten
Emotive music interwoven with the words of war poet Wilfred Owen and the words from the Requiem Mass make for a deeply moving experience. The piece was written for the re-consecration of Coventry Cathedral after it was destroyed during World War II. It will be presented by the BBC Symphony Orchestra along with soloists and massed choirs at the Royal Albert Hall.