Nation falls silent to remember war dead on Armistice Day


Hedgerow Group
Hedgerow Group

People across the UK have honoured the nation’s war dead on what may be the warmest Armistice Day ever.

The traditional two-minute silence was held at 11am on the anniversary of the end of the First World War.

City workers paused inside the Lloyd's of London building

City workers paused inside the Lloyd’s of London building© PA

Services were held in many towns and cities, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer outside Euston station with veterans and rail staff.

The Last Post sounded and the railway chaplain said: “May we never forget the bravery and sacrifice, in the face of fearsome odds, the young and old who gave all, and the victories they won for our liberty.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “Today and forever, we will remember them.”

Staff in the Lloyd’s of London building lined the atrium to pay their respects in scenes replicated in many offices around the country.

Services were also held at Edinburgh’s Garden of Remembrance, Cardiff Castle, the Cenotaph in Westminster and Guildhall Square in Portsmouth.

In Paris, Emmanuel Macron hosted a service attended by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, while the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester joined service members and the public at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Emmanuel Macron led French commemorations at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Emmanuel Macron led French commemorations at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier© Reuters

“Since 1918 we have marked Armistice Day and paid tribute to the brave men and women who have served to give us peace,” said Mr Cleverly as he visited France.

“Yet as we salute our troops this year, this peace has been shattered by a Russian aggressor.

“As we honour the war dead of the past, we also remember Ukraine’s fight for freedom today.”

More than one million British military personnel died during the First and Second World Wars, according to The National Archives.

The First World War alone accounting for 886,000 fatalities. Nearly 70,000 British civilians also lost their lives, the great majority during the Second World War.

Armistice Day is always held on 11 November and remembers those killed in all wars, while the large Remembrance Sunday parade past the Cenotaph in London takes place on the closest weekend.

The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire hosted a remembrance event

The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire hosted a remembrance event© PA

This year King Charles will lay his first wreath as monarch.

Other countries also hold commemorations today, including America, where Veterans’ Day is a federal holiday.

The Met Office said it could end up being the mildest Armistice Day on record in the UK. Temperatures in all home nations are in the mid-teens, coming close to the the 17.8C (64F) UK record.