- Queen led commemorations by laying wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall after two-minute silence at 11am
- She was joined by servicemen, senior royals, party leaders including David Cameron and former PM Tony Blair
- Armed officers stood guard and checked area with trained dogs days after Scotland Yard made four terror arrests
- Prince Harry returned to Afghanistan to lead services with Britain’s few remaining troops on behalf of the Queen
- Services 100 years after First World War and 70 years after D-Day came as Tower of London poppies extended
The Queen was applauded today in an unprecedented mark of appreciation as she led millions of Britons in remembering the fallen.
The monarch laid a wreath on the Cenotaph at the national Remembrance Day service alongside senior Royals, veterans and the Prime Minister, despite heightened security after police thwarted an alleged terror plot on Thursday.
The spontaneous smattering of applause, as she left Whitehall in central London, was a rare sound for a remembrance service usually characterised by respectful silence, and may have been in tribute to her fortitude at turning out to the service despite terror fears.
Hundreds of services have been held this morning across Britain 100 years after the First World War broke out, 70 years after D-Day and weeks after British troops ended combat operations in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan itself, there was a sombre atmosphere as Prince Harry returned to the country – where he was posted in 2007 and 2012 – to lead services with Britain’s few remaining troops on behalf of the Queen.
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Paying her respects: The Queen, dressed all in black except for her red poppies, laid a wreath on the Cenotaph on behalf of the nation
Fortitude: The monarch was applauded as she left Whitehall, a rare sound for remembrance services marked with respectful silence
Paying their respects: Since last year’s ceremony seven British troops have died in service, including five in a single helicopter crash
Giving thanks: The three main party leaders Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron were among those at the ceremony today
Procession: The Queen was followed by Princes Charles and William before a service led by the Bishop of London Richard Chartres
Memorial: Prince Charles lays a wreath on the Cenotaph, where remembrance services have been held for almost a century
A moment of calm: The Duchess of Cambridge wore an ornate poppy brooch as she joined the service from the Foreign Office balcony
Watching: The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Countess of Wessex on the Foreign Office balcony at the service
Paying tribute: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair joined party leaders and George Osborne (left) as thousands stood on Whitehall (right)
The Queen laid wreaths with Prince Charles, Prince William and party leaders including David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, as the Last Post was played alongside pieces by Purcell and Elgar.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was also at the service to pay his respects. Under his leadership, the government began the protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which led to the deaths of more than 630 British troops.
Today’s ceremony also marked the first time an Irish representative was invited to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in almost 70 years.
Irish ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall accepted the invitation as part of a symbolic gesture to repair old wounds. Some 200,000 Irish-born soldiers from north and south of the island served in the First World War, with around 50,000 losing their lives.
But those who returned from the war found a country riven by its own conflict with Britain. The Irish war of independence would follow and by 1921 the island was partitioned, with the southern 26 counties becoming independent.
For decades the newly-formed state struggled with its people’s role fighting for Britain in the war. Returning soldiers were effectively ostracised and became scared to admit they had participated in the conflict.
The Queen laid wreaths with Prince Charles, Prince William and party leaders including David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, as the Last Post was played alongside pieces by Purcell and Elgar. Charles attended the Welsh Guards regimental remembrance Sunday lunch following the service
The Prince of Wales (left) attends the Welsh Guards Remembrance Sunday Service at Wellington Barracks in London
Procession: Veterans assemble on Whitehall this morning for the national Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph
Service: Onlookers filmed the procession with their camera phones as they prepared to mark the two-minute silence at 11am
Service: Troops gathered in Whitehall before the Cenotaph, which was unveiled in 1920 and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens
Royals: The national remembrance service included the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall
Wounded in service: An amputee war veteran leaves from Horse Guards Parade this morning en route to the Cenotaph ceremony
Crowds: Soldiers, military bands, veterans, politicians and members of the public all gathered by the national memorials to the fallen
A moment of reflection: Veterans and their families walk through St James’ Park as they gather this morning for the Cenotaph ceremony
Crowds: The well-attended service in Whitehall (pictured) was just one of hundreds held in remembrance up and down the country
Support: Veterans praised the public for showing their backing of the military and the losses endured in the name of war
Arrival: David Cameron and his wife Samantha, wearing a knitted poppy, leave Downing Street for the short walk to the Cenotaph
Cameron leaves the Remembrance Day service. He was accompanied by his wife Samantha and their daughter Florence Rose riding on his shoulders
Former leader: The service was attended by Tony and Cherie Blair. The former Prime Minister stood beside Chancellor George Osborne
Dressed in red: The well-known uniforms of the Chelsea Pensioners were among those which passed the Cenotaph in tribute
Politicians including former Prime Minister John Major and Mayor of London Boris Johnson joined the ceremony in Whitehall
In London, crowds gathered a dozen deep in a welcome respite from downpours which had swept across the south east, bringing with them ten days’ rain in six hours.
The national remembrance service including the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Earl and Countess of Wessex took place in Whitehall amid a heightened police presence.
Armed officers stood guard against the grey civil service buildings early in the morning as trained dogs sniffed under manhole covers to check for any signs of a terror plot.
Scotland Yard said it had an ‘appropriate and proportionate’ policing plan in place for the event amid heightened fears of a terror attack.
The thorough checks came after four men were arrested in west London and High Wycombe in connection with alleged Islamist terror plans on British soil on Thursday.
But the service passed without incident, except for a young choirboy who collapsed as the national anthem was sung just yards from where the royal family were standing.
Medics rushed to treat the boy who was helped up and led away through the crowd, whose senior figures included 46 high commissioners from Commonwealth nations, each of whom laid a wreath.
Collapse: Medics for St John Ambulance help a choirboy who fainted during the singing of the national anthem, yards from the Queen
Commotion: The ceremony continued with other members of the choir (right) as attendees tended to the collapsed youngster (left)
Turnout: Armed police gathered as a precaution in Whitehall as the Queen prepared to lead the national Remembrance Sunday service in honour of all those who have lost their lives in war. It came three days after Scotland Yard made fresh terror arrests in the capital
Paying their respects: Crowds lined the streets of central London a dozen deep in a respite from heavy rain which had lashed the city
On guard: Mourners and those paying tribute gathered along Whitehall for the service with a heavy police presence out in force
Crowds: A police patrol with sniffer dogs outside the Houses of Parliament this morning, near where the wreaths were to be laid
High-profile: Party leaders including David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were due to join the wreath-laying in Whitehall
Checks: Officers wore poppies as they arrived at Whitehall in what Scotland Yard called an ‘appropriate and proportionate’ response
Cautious: Police check under a diplomatic Mercedes from the Commonwealth island of Grenada in Horse Guards Parade
Parked: In the town of Woodstock, Oxfordshire, a car near the war memorial delayed the start of the remembrance service
A two-minute silence at 11am was due to be marked at the beginning and end by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery firing one round from one of their 13-pounder First World War guns from nearby Horse Guards Parade.
Speaking before the Cenotaph service, Company Sergeant Major Paul Baines, 39, from Torquay, who was awarded the military cross for gallantry after serving in Afghanistan, said: ‘The country has really rallied behind the military and not just because of the centenary year.
‘When I was younger I tried to imagine the faces of those who had lost their lives. When you experience it for yourself as part of your job, it becomes more personal.’
Asked about the police presence amid heightened fears of a terror attack, he said: ‘It’s better to be safe than sorry. There’s always a strong presence.’
More than 10,000 veterans, some in wheelchairs, were applauded as they marched past the Cenotaph. At the close of the ceremony the Duke of York took the salute at Horse Guards Parade for the march-past.
Afghanistan veteran Lance Corporal Andrew Davison, 24, from Newcastle, added: ‘It’s good to see the end of any conflict. Of course it’s going to be emotional today. It always is.’
There was silence too at the Tower of London, were thousands bowed their heads. They included five young Afghanistan veterans with medals pinned to their chests.
Bradley White, 28, from Essex, who was shot in the leg during a 2007 ambush, said: ‘I saw the poppies a few weeks ago. Seeing it all finished now just shows the scale of the sacrifice.
‘It is quite emotional when you look at the sheer scale of it. When we were out in Afghanistan we lost nine soldiers, and numerous more since. So, it does bring back poignant memories from when we were out there.’
Paying tribute: The London Eye lit up in comemmoration this morning (left) as a photograph of a soldier was left at the Tower of London
As dusk fell, images of falling poppies were projected on to Parliament’s Elizabeth Tower – popularly known as Big Ben – as part of commemorations of the centenary of the conflict
All 888,246 poppies at the Tower of London – one for each British and colonial death during the war – have been sold at £25 each, with part of the estimated £15million proceeds shared between six service charities
Beloved: It has been revealed part of the artwork, pictured last night, will be briefly extended. It was due to be removed after Tuesday
Red sea: The sun glints this morning on the 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, one for each British soldier killed in WW1
Marking Remembrance Day: Families and veterans also descended on the Tower of London to pay their respects today at the sea of red
Thousands of visitors flocked to the installation at the Tower of London before the ‘seas of red’ are swept away
Alongside the hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies in the Tower moat, families left their own wooden crosses on the railings
There was silence at the Tower of London, where thousands bowed their heads. A sea of 888,246 ceramic poppies surrounded the historic tower
Grand: A service at Durham Cathedral (left) was attended by Abbie Moore, 17 (right),this year’s face of the Poppy Appeal for the Royal British Legion. Her father was a bombardier with 101 Northumbria Regiment and 203 Elswick Battery Royal Artillery but died this year
Party leaders including David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were due to join the wreath-laying – but there was a political row after Ukip leader Nigel Farage demanded to be allowed to join them.
He claimed millions of Ukip voters had been snubbed while leaders of smaller parties were allowed to attend. But a senior government source told MailOnline Mr Farage was wrong to make the sombre wreath laying ceremony ‘all about him’.
ORDER OF EVENTS IN WHITEHALL
9am Royal British Legion detachments form up on Horse Guards Parade and in Whitehall
10am All detachments march out from Wellington Barracks
11am Two-minute silence marked by the firing of guns from Kings Troop, on Horse Guards Parade, and the first stroke of Big Ben. Cenotaph Service commences
11:25am Cenotaph Service concludes and RBL detachments disperse past the Cenotaph
Prime Minister David Cameron said this year’s Remembrance Sunday was ‘particularly poignant’ as 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the end of Britain’s conflict in Afghanistan.
‘Today we stand united to remember the courageous men and women who have served our country, defended our freedoms and kept us safe,’ he said. ‘We remember all those who have fallen and those who have risked their lives to protect us.
‘We owe each and every member of our armed forces and the families who support them a tremendous debt – one that can never be repaid – and I pay huge tribute to their bravery and resolve.’
It was announced yesterday that part of the ceramic poppy field at the Tower of London – which will have 888,246 poppies installed by Armistice Day, one for each British and colonial death during the First World War – will remain on show until the end of the month.
The news was welcomed by the Prime Minister, who said the artwork was an ‘incredibly moving, yet stark reminder’ of British losses in the conflict.
As dusk falls tonight, images of falling poppies are due to be projected onto the tower containing Big Ben and a service will be held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, before wreaths are laid at the stone armed forces memorial.
Since last year’s Remembrance Sunday, seven members of the British armed forces have died on operations.
LCpl Oliver Thomas, Cpl James Walters, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner, Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan, Capt Thomas Clarke, Sapper Adam Moralee and Capt Richard Holloway all died in Afghanistan – five of them in a single helicopter crash in April.
The youngest, 32 Engineers Regiment Sapper Moralee, from Newcastle, was just 23.
A service is held at the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge in the Highland area of Scotland, as people across Scotland have joined in a two-minute silence to commemorate fallen service men and women
Since last year’s Remembrance Sunday, seven members of the British armed forces have died on operations
War Veteran Stewart Ballentyne from the Cameronian Scottish Rifles views thousands of crosses in the Poppyscotland Field of Remembrance next to the Scott Monument in Edinburgh
Crosses with pictures of servicemen killed in Afganistan during the conflict in the Poppyscotland Field of Remembrance next to the Scott Monument in Edinburgh
Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, pictured at a service in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was left in a coma for four months when his Land Rover was ripped apart by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in September 2006
The 30-year-old’s back was broken in three places, his lungs punctured. Having suffered debilitating brain injuries and lost both his legs, he is believed to be the most severely injured soldier from the conflict to survive
Marking time: George Henderson, 90, waits at a commemorative bus stop in Prudhoe, Northumberland, on his way to a service in Newcastle. He was a gunner on a D-Day landing craft nicknamed ‘The Fallen Leaves’ taking Canadian troops onto Juno Beach
Then and now: The 90-year-old veteran was joined in his journey to the service this morning by Sergeant Terry Moffatt, 37 (left)
Formation: Pupils from Wellington College and the Wellington Academy in Crowthorne, Berkshire, joined together to spell out the figure 725 in the college grounds It represented the number of alumni from the public school who were killed in the First World War
Powerful: A 1.2-tonne statue of ‘Tommy’ (pictured this morning) is now a permanent fixture on the seafront at Seaham, County Durham, after locals campaigned successfully to raise the £85,000 fundraising target needed to keep the sculpture in the town
Dawn: The statue cut a lonely figure on the seafront this morning as the sun rose on the national day of remembrance for the fallen
Brave: Ashton Sexton-Farquhar, four, laid a wreath in Colchester, Essex, in honour of his father Shaun Sexton – who he never met
Heart-rending: The little boy attended the service at the Colchester War Memorial alongside his mother Trudy, 37
On the River Avon, a restored First World War torpedo boat passes underneath Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. The boat is the only survivor of its original 12-strong fleet after marine surveyor Robert Morley, 57, spotted the 40ft attack vessel dumped in a boatyard
Mr Morley delved into previously-classified military files and discovered the wooden boat (pictured) not only sank a German destroyer during the war but also became one of first ever drones by being piloted using remote controls, a technology ahead of its time in 1918
Among the few remaining troops in Afghanistan, whose combat role is now officially at an end, there was a sombre atmosphere as they remembered the 13-year fight which claimed more than 450 British lives.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) personnel and civilians gathered for remembrance services in Kabul and Kandahar – likely to be the last involving British military based in Afghanistan.
The ceremony in Camp Souter Kabul today was led by the Reverend Dr Jim Francis CF and attended by personnel from all three services, along with senior representatives from the international coalition.
The Camp Bastion military base in Helmand is due to close in a few weeks’ time and the final British troops are due to be pulled out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.
Speaking after today’s service in Kabul, Brigadier James Stopford said: ‘Our annual remembrance commemorations are always moments of deep reflection as we honour those who have fallen in conflict across the ages.
‘This year is particularly poignant as we mark the centenary of the Great War.
‘For those of us serving here in Afghanistan on operations, we remember with enormous pride the terrible sacrifice by our UK Armed Forces colleagues and those of our coalition partners, and in particular the very brave members of the Afghan security forces.
‘Our shared sacrifice has made a significant difference to this country and ours and continues to do so – we will remember them.’
Former German paratrooper Adam Druschel, 95, lsaw action across Europe while serving with the 1st Parachute Regiment during the Second World War. He joined his English-born wife, Constance, 84, at St John the Evangelist Church in Lund, near Preston, Lancashire, to honour the fallen of both world wars
The one-time unteroffizier was eventually captured by the Americans at Mons, Belgium, in September 1944, and ended up as a prisoner of war in Britain
RECORD NUMBERS ATTEND REMEMBRANCE SERVICE AT NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM
Record numbers attended a remembrance service at the National Memorial Arboretum for those killed on active service for the Crown.
Such were the high numbers at the Staffordshire site, organisers moved much of the ceremony to the nearby Royal Naval Review monument.
More than 5,000 people, young and old, some wearing medals and regimental berets, others clasping posies of flowers and poppies, gathered to mourn the lost in the chilly winter sunshine.
A bugler from West Midlands Police Band played the opening notes of The Last Post, and a stillness fell over the crowd.
Record numbers attended a remembrance service at the National Memorial Arboretum for those killed on active service for the Crown
Then as the piper’s lament, the Flowers Of The Forest, rang out, some stared into the distance while a few dabbed away tears as they remembered.
Later, emotions were freely displayed as the ceremony moved to the stone Armed Forces Memorial for a short service and wreath-laying – one veteran brought to his knees in tears with his hand pressed against the Portland stone for support.
Among those who made the emotional journey was 67-year-old Barry Smith – originally from Sheffield, but now of Werrington near Stoke-on-Trent, who had been planning to attend a major Remembrance Sunday event since he was a boy, but had never done so until now.
In nine years, Mr Barry saw service in Kenya, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe),Aden, Libya, Cyprus, East Germany and even Honduras and Guatemala in Central America – ‘and I fought in every one of them’, he said.
The oddest thing he ever saw was a large lion called Nelson which was kept inside Nairobi airport, in Kenya, describing it as ‘like something out of Tarzan film’.
The former 1st Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment soldier was later training with his unit in Libya, North Africa, just as Colonel Muammar Gaddafi staged a coup and swept to power.
‘He then came to get us,’ he said, with a smile.
‘He knew we were out there in the middle of the desert, but he didn’t know where and he couldn’t find us, despite chasing us all over.
‘We slipped past him, raced back to airport and got out on the planes.’
He said it was important to remember those who had ‘paid the ultimate sacrifice’.
More than 5,000 people, young and old, some wearing medals and regimental berets, others clasping posies of flowers and poppies, gathered to mourn the lost in the chilly winter sunshine
‘I have been around places like Tobruk and El Alamein, and when you see those graves out there, literally thousands of men and it just brings a tear to your face, and I didn’t know any of them.
‘It was so moving, and unbelievable – absolutely unbelievable, and it’s a memory you never forget.’
Mr Smith added: ‘You come around to these places and I didn’t know any of these boys, but they all paid the ultimate sacrifice – it takes a lot out of you.
‘It’s important to remember what they did.
‘You never forget the comradeship – you become part of a unit or club, whether you want to or not and it’s there forever and never goes away.
‘You come around these places and you see these lads and women who sacrificed their life and it’s sad, but it makes you proud.
‘It’s very difficult to deal with those feelings that you get because they’re so mixed.
‘We should never forget what they sacrificed – and we’re here today, because they’ve done it.’
Sarah Montgomery, managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: ‘It was an honour to have a huge turnout for our Remembrance Sunday service.
‘The attendance reinforces the importance of remembrance and the resonance it has had with the British public in this significant centenary year.
‘We thank all those who came today to pay their respects.’
Those who remain: The few British troops left in Afghanistan took part in a Remembrance Day service at the Kandahar Air Base
Tribute: From left, Captain Matthew Clark, the Senior Royal Navy officer in Afghanistan, Deputy Commander Joint Force Support (Afghanistan) Brigadier Darrell Amison, and Commander JFSp and Group Captain Andy Martin lay wreaths at Kandahar
Solemn: The 13-year conflict in Afghanistan claimed more than 453 British lives, alongside many thousands more civilians
The nation remembers: A procession on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh (left) was attended by Scottish leaders including Alex Salmond
Frail: Two members of Scotland’s armed forces help each other handle a wreath as they mark the sacrifices of their colleagues
Pausing for thought: A young girl examines wreaths which were placed on the war memorial in the town of Woodstock, Oxfordshire
BRITAIN REMEMBERS: ORDER OF SERVICE AT CENOTAPH TO HONOUR THE FALLEN 100 YEARS AFTER WWI
At 11 o’clock, Silence will be kept for two minutes, beginning at the first stroke of Big Ben.
For all present, suggested subjects for thought and prayer during the Silence are:
We remember those who made the great sacrifice during the two World Wars;
We remember those who have given their lives in the service of their country in other conflicts;
We pray for those who suffer at this time;
We pray for those who have been bereaved;
We pray for peace;
We pray that we may be worthy of the sacrifice made on our behalf.
The end of the Silence will be marked by The Last Post.
Wreaths will then be laid on the Cenotaph.
The Lord Bishop of London will offer the following prayer:
O Almighty God, grant, we beseech thee, that we who here do honour to the memory of those who have died in the service of their country and of the Crown, may be so inspired by the spirit of their love and fortitude that, forgetting all selfish and unworthy motives, we may live only to thy glory and to the service of mankind through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN
The following hymn will be sung, accompanied by the Bands of the Guards Division.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
Beneath the shadow of thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
And our defence is sure.
Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God,
To endless years the same.
A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.
The Lord Bishop of London will offer the following prayer:
Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN
All present are requested to say The Lord’s Prayer:
Which art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
In earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive them that trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom
The power and the glory
For ever and ever. AMEN
The Lord Bishop of London will then give The Blessing:
Unto God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you
The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you
The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you
And give you his peace this day and always. AMEN
God Save The Queen
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