THE FIRST WORLD WAR
POPPIES AT THE TOWER
PAGE TWO: REMEMBRANCE SERVICE
Poppies at The Tower of London, July-November 2014
The Cenotaph was designed by Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) and was constructed of Portland Stone by the company, Holland, Hannen & Cubitts. It replaced a wood & plaster version that was installed at the same location.
Remembrance Sunday is observed each year on the second Sunday in November with the national ceremony being held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall. This is the nearest Sunday to 11th November, Armistice Day, which markes the anniversary of the end of the First World War: on 11th day of the 11th month at 11 a.m. in 1918. It is a day for people to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women who took part in the two World Wars and later conflicts.
At 11 a.m., there is a two minute silence. The silence marks the end of hostilities when the guns became silent. A field gun is fired on Horse Guards Parade to mark the start of the silence and end. This is followed by buglers of the Royal Marines sounding Last Post while buglers of the Royal Air Force sound The Rouse.
The Last Post
After this, wreaths are laid by other members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, leaders of the political parties in opposition and other dignitaries of the Government, the Commonwealth and representatives of the Armed Services, the Merchant Navy, fishing fleets and civilian services. Representatives of the major religions practiced in the U.K. also lay wreaths, as do Ambassadors from numerous countries.
There is a short religious service conducted by the Bishop of London and the hymn, Our G-d, Our Help in Ages Past, is sung by observers and led by the massed bands present and the choir of the Chapel Royal.
The Right Reverend Richard Chartres, The Bishop of London
Our G-d, Our Help in Ages Past
Once the service is concluded, the dignitaries leave and the Ceremony is now given over to the Armed Services and the people. And now begins the marching past the Cenotaph by members of each group of the Armed Services led by their respective military band.
Perhaps the moving part of the event takes place once the official part of the Ceremony is over. Led by groups of veterans from the various conflicts, either walk or are helped past the Cenotaph. Many lay wreaths while others offer small bouquets of flowers.
When I was a child, many wives and family members of the fallen would also walk past the Memorial and offer their flowers.
While this personal salute is taking place, one of the bands of an Armed Services remains to play various hymns and tunes. This always includes the old Music Hall song made popular during the First World War, It’s a long way to Tipperary. I always find this part of the ceremony to be the most moving.
Click here to watch Remembrance Sunday Ceremony, The Cenotaph, 2014
Click here to watch the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance, 2014
The Last Post from the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance, 2014
Click here to hear, Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
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POPPIES AT THE TOWER – PAGE 3