UK

Armistice Day: Two minutes' silence marks remembrance

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Media captionBig Ben breaks silence to mark Armistice Day

Millions of people have fallen silent to remember the nation's war dead, as the UK marked Armistice Day.

Big Ben, which has been silent since August while repair work is carried out, chimed at 11:00 GMT.

Events have been held around the country to mark the 99th anniversary of the end of World War One.

And the Queen and other members of the Royal Family have taken part in a Royal Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Prime Minister Theresa May, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge were among those at the event, run by the British Legion and featuring performances from Emeli Sande, Tom Odell, Melanie C, Alfie Boe and the Band of HM Royal Marines.

The service marked the centenaries of the women's service in the regular Armed Forces, the Battle of Passchendaele, the creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn.

There was also praise for service personnel and civilian services who came to the aid of the injured in this year's terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

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Media captionLes Cherrington said thinking about his fallen comrades made him very emotional

Earlier, the Western Front Association held its annual service of remembrance at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, central London, where a two-minute silence was observed.

And the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire hosted an outdoor service of remembrance within the walls of the Armed Forces Memorial.

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Image caption People observe a two minute silence at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire
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Image caption The Western Front Association's annual service of remembrance at the Cenotaph, Whitehall
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Image caption The Duke of York and Duchess of Cambridge were among those attending the Royal Festival of Remembrance
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Image caption They were joined by the Queen and Prince Philip

In Brighton, the world's tallest moving observation tower, the British Airways i360, is turning red to mark the event.

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Image caption The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

On Sunday, Prince Charles will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on his mother's behalf.

It will be the first time, as head of state, that the Queen will observe the ceremony from a nearby balcony, where she will be joined by the Duke of Edinburgh.

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Image caption People gathered at the Cenotaph on Whitehall to observe a two minute silence
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Image caption A service of remembrance was held at the Edinburgh Garden of Remembrance

Elsewhere, Australians have observed a minute's silence to remember their war dead.

The country's Sydney Opera House was lit up with red poppies.

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Image caption The sails of the Sydney Opera House are seen illuminated with red poppies

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull joined his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, in Vietnam - where the Apec summit is taking place - to attend a service of remembrance.

"We remember every ANZAC serviceman and woman who has made the supreme sacrifice to keep our two countries free," he said.

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Image caption French President Emmanuel Macron lays a wreath in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau in Paris

Armistice Day is a national holiday in France and Belgium. French president Emmanuel Macron has laid a wreath in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau - the prime minister of France during World War One.

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Image caption Princess Anne paid tribute during the Last Post ceremony at Ypres Memorial in Belgium

Armistice Day

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Image caption Soldiers and civilians celebrate Armistice Day on 11 November 1918

Armistice Day falls each year on 11 November to mark the day in 1918 when the fighting in World War One was stopped.

The Allies and Germany signed an armistice in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne in France at 05:00. Six hours later, at 11:00, the conflict ceased.

King George V announced that a two-minute silence would be observed in 1919, four days before the first anniversary of Armistice Day. The silence continues to be observed every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.


Watch the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance on BBC One on Saturday at 21:00 GMT.

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