11 November 2021

Armistice Day: UK falls silent to remember those who lost their lives in conflict

11 November 2021

The nation has fallen silent to honour those who lost their lives in conflict.

A two-minute silence took place across the country at 11am, marking 102 years since the first two-minute silence was observed on Armistice Day, November 11 1919.

Each year, the two-minute silence marks the end of the four-year conflict in 1918 where an agreement between Germany and the Allies was made “on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”.

The Duchess of Cornwall was at the 93rd Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, which has been held in the grounds of the Abbey since November 1928.

Sunrise on Armistice Day over First and Second World War graves at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Brookwood Military Cemetery in Woking (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

The Field of Remembrance fell silent at 11am with Camilla and hundreds of veterans from past conflicts standing motionless as the chimes of Big Ben rang out.

Everyone observed two minutes of silence as London traffic rolled past.

Moments before, the Dean of Westminster Dr David Hoyle had said prayers before those gathered and the Last Post sounded.

In Staffordshire, a service of remembrance took place at the National Memorial Arboretum on top of the Armed Forces Memorial, featuring readings, musical performances and wreath laying.

The Duchess of Cornwall arrives ahead of a two minute silence at the 93rd Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

At Edinburgh Castle there was a single-gun salute at 11am and again at 11.02, and members of the armed forces community joined local government officials for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Edinburgh Garden of Remembrance in Princes Street Gardens.

The Royal British Legion Scotland’s National Padre, Rev Dr Karen Campbell, was leading the open-air service including the reading of Binyon’s Lines and the Kohima Epitaph.

The ceremony marks the centenary of the Royal British Legion Scotland.

The two-minute silence was also marked at the Scottish Parliament and by Cop26 President Alok Sharma at the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and others also stood in silence at the UK pavilion at Cop26 on Thursday morning.

Cop26 President Alok Sharma (front left) and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Holyrood’s Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone led a two-minute silence in the Scottish Parliament alongside opposition leaders and Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Prior to the silence, Ms Johnstone read a short extract from Laurence Binyon’s Ode of Remembrance before The Last Post was played by a bugler.

Standing on the steps of parliament’s garden lobby, Ms Johnstone then recited the Kohima Epitaph before the flowers of the forest folk song was played on the bagpipes.

Armistice Day was disrupted last year and many remembered the nation’s war dead from their homes as they were encouraged to stay there to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox