Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day and Poppy Day) is commemorated on 11th November every year. It is a day when people remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces in conflicts past and present. The 11th of November was dedicated by King George V after the end of the First World War which ended on “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”. The Armistice Treaty was signed at this time by the Allies and Germany in a railway carriage in Compiegne Forest and this signaled the end of the war.
In Britain, the memorial service for Remembrance Day is held on the second Sunday in November as Remembrance Sunday. 2 minutes silence is generally observed throughout the country at 11am on 11th November. On Remembrance Sunday, two minutes silence is observed as the clocks strike 11. This is followed by the “Last Post”. Wreaths are laid, hymns and the national anthem is sung at ceremonies held in cities, towns and villages all over the country.
The poppy is the symbol of remembrance. Its significance is a result of the poem by Canadian physician John McCrae. “In Flanders Field”. The poppy was one of few things to grow in the muddy battlefields of Flanders. It was adopted by Field Marshall Douglas Haig in 1921 in his capacity as found of the Royal British Legion. The Poppy Appeal raises funds all year round and more information about the work the do and making donations can be found on their website – http://www.poppy.org.uk
Leger Holidays are the UK’s leading Battlefield Tours operator. All their tours are escorted by a Specialist Battlefields Guide. Full information about their current tours, availability and prices can be found on their website.
If you are unable to travel to Belgium or France for Armistice Day and would like to attend commemorations, they can be found in cities, towns and villages all over the UK. The main commemoration is held at the Cenotaph in London.