“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.”
The Sunday around the 11th November is observed as Remembrance Sunday in the UK and other Commonwealth countries. This day remembers those who have lost their lights fighting in the British Armed Forces and the civilians who also lost their lives during these conflicts. The poppy is seen as the symbol of remembrance in the UK, and a national service takes place every year at the Cenotaph on Whitehall. The Queen and other dignitaries lay wreaths of poppies on the war memorial, and a 2-minute silence is held at 11 am. It was 11 am on 11/11/1918 that the guns stopped to end the First World War.
The first Remembrance Sunday was held in 1919, one year after the end of World War I. These events were held in London but other events were staged at town and village war memorials, often featuring processions of civic dignitaries and veterans. The sacrifice that the young men made during World War I started to change the perspective of lower- and working-class men in the UK, who at the time didn’t even have the right to vote.
Having traced my ancestry, I have discovered that I lost two great-great-great uncles in WWI and I am sure that almost everyone in the UK has a family member who was involved.