Silence Marks Passing Of WWI Era
Creator: By Sam Marsden and Laura Elston, Press Association
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, senior politicians and the heads of the
armed forces gathered for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, in central
Former and serving military personnel joined members of the public in standing
for the standard two-minute silence to remember the sacrifice of these
who’ve died for his or her nation.
Today’s service at the Abbey was held following the deaths this year of the
last three veterans of the warfare residing in Britain.
William Stone died in January, aged 108, adopted in July by Henry Allingham,
113, and Harry Patch, 111.
The Very Rev Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, opened the service by
recalling the second exactly 91 years in the past when the guns fell silent in
He mentioned in his bidding: “The Great War was over. Lives, friendships,
households, societies, nations had been shattered. The whole lot had changed.
“On this day two years later and at this hour, an unknown warrior, chosen
at random to symbolize all these of these islands who had fought and died,
accorded the highest honour of a state funeral, was buried right here.
“His grave was to change into the main focus of our national remembrance and to
have worldwide significance.
“Now that the final of his comrades in arms has gone to his eternal stone island pendant rest,
we are right here once more to remember.
“We remember, with grief, the fuel and the mud, the barbed wire, the
bombardment, the terror, the telegram; and, with gratitude, the courage and
“Never again, they said; the conflict to finish all wars. With decision we
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Duchess of Gloucester, patron of the World
Battle One Veterans Association, had been among the many British and overseas dignitaries
at the service.
The head of the armed forces, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, attended
alongside the chiefs of employees of the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope,
the Military, Basic Sir David Richards, and the Royal Air Power, Air Chief
Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton.
Members of the public from throughout the UK with hyperlinks to the battle have been also
The start and finish of the two-minute silence was marked by gunfire from the
King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, fired from Horse Guards Parade.
Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, who was among the congregation, paid tribute
to those that fought in the first World Conflict.
He mentioned: “The warfare left an enduring affect on those who survived. They
were determined that the sacrifices made by those that misplaced their lives would
by no means be forgotten.
“Today we be a part of collectively as a nation to honour that promise, and we are going to
all the time do so”.
Sir Jock added: “During the primary World Warfare the British navy lost
some two-thirds of 1,000,000 lifeless – practically 20,000 of these on simply at some point
on the Battle of the Somme.
“These are numbers that are all however incomprehensible to us at this time. The
complete amounted to almost one in every 50 folks within the land – hardly a
neighborhood was untouched.
“Such sacrifice must never be forgotten, and at the moment is a crucial half
of that ongoing remembrance”.
Also attending the service had been former prime ministers Baroness Thatcher and
Sir John Major. Tony Blair was unable to attend as a result of he was visiting the
Middle East in his position as Quartet envoy.
Others attending included Television presenter Michael Palin, journalist and
broadcaster Ian Hislop, and Peter Owen, the nephew of First World Warfare poet
The Archbishop of Canterbury described the primary World Struggle as a “huge
Dr Rowan Williams praised the achievement of the 1914/18 technology in
repairing among the “shattered idealism” that characterised the post-war
He mentioned: “Some, not less than, of those who tried to make sense of where God had
been in all this realised that dropping the protected, drawback-solving God who
protected nations and empires would possibly itself be a reward, a second of fact that
introduced the reality of God closer, recognised or not.”
The Archbishop used his sermon to warn of the “readiness to neglect the arduous
lessons realized by those that had been on the front line” that was prevalent
within the twentieth century.
He concluded: “The generation that has passed walked ahead with vision and
bravery, and held collectively the bonds of our society, our continent, our
Commonwealth, by means of a horrible century.
“May we be taught the lessons they realized, and God save us from studying them in
the way they needed to.”