ON NOVEMBER 11 at 11am, people across the UK will fall silent to remember those who lost their lives fighting for their country.
Armistice Day falls on November 11 every year, to commemorate the end of the First World War in 1918. Here is the history behind the day…
PA:Press Association Remembrance crosses in the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance in London
Why the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month?
11am on the 11th day of November marks the time World War I officially came to an end in 1918.
Just after 5am on November 11, 1918, Germany and the Allies signed an armistice – a formal agreement to stop fighting.
The armistice, sometimes known as the Armistice of Compiègne after the location it was signed (around 60 miles north east of Paris), marked victory for the Allies.
Although fighting stopped just a few hours after the armistice was signed, it took months of negotiations to register the peace treaty, the Treaty of Versailles.
PA:Press Association The Cenotaph monument in George Square, Glasgow
Why do we say ‘lest we forget’?
The phrase ‘lest we forget’ is thought to come from the poem “Recessional” by Rudyard Kipling, which was written for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Kipling himself took inspiration from the Bible – namely Deuteronomy 6:12, which reads: “Then beware lest thou forget the Lord which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt”.
The poem doesn’t touch upon remembering fallen soldiers, but has been adopted as part of Armistice Day traditions.
The phrase “lest we forget” is intended to warn people against forgetting those who fought and died for their country and it often inscribed on war memorials and graves.
Who wrote the famous “Ode of Remembrance”?
The Ode of Remembrance is a passage from the poem “For the Fallen”, written by Laurence Binyon.
It was first published in The Times newspaper in September 1914, and is recited during Remembrance services.
PA:Press Association One of the ceramic poppies in the 2014 art installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ at the Tower of London
The ode reads:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
Queen lays a wreath at the Cenotaph to mark Remembrance Sunday