|Sunday the 11th marks 100 years since the Armistice was signed in November 1918, bringing an end to the First World War.
The agreement between the Allies required Germany to leave all occupied territories in Western Europe within two weeks and surrender thousands of guns/machine guns and planes. Big Ben sounded in Parliament Square to ring in the news as thousands gathered in Westminster and outside Buckingham Palace roaring in celebration, sparking three days of jubilation across Britain. The Prime minister in 1918 LLoyd George concluded his speech that day with the declaration: “I hope we may say that thus, this fateful morning, came an end to all wars.”
The national mood was not all celebratory however. Wounded veterans, recovering in military hospitals, typically met the news in reflective silence, ambivalent about the nature of a victory that had seen so many young lives brutally extinguished.
Over the years, many thousands of war memorials have been erected in cities, towns and villages nationwide, solemnly recording the sacrifices of the many soldiers who lost their lives. Monuments that stand today as reminders of the past and warnings to future generations not to repeat the mistakes of history.
Why do we wear a poppy to show we remember?
The Royal British Legion has run its Poppy Appeal since 1921.
Using Moina Michael’s idea of handmade silk poppies, to raise money for living servicemen and women. Taking inspiration from the 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, the bright red wildflower was chosen as a symbol of hope because it once grew in the fields torn apart by shellfire and tanks where many fallen soldiers met their end.
I attended the Remembrance service with my partner in Wolverhampton which he took part in. I will share some of my photos of the day. It was a special day as it will be his last one in uniform.