Remembrance Day: UK falls silent to thank our fallen heroes on Armistice Day
Britain has fallen silent as the country comes together to remember the nation’s war heroes who died in battle.
Millions of people from every corner of the country paused at 11am as poignant services are held across the UK.
Marking 103 years since the first two-minute silence was observed on Armistice Day, on November 11 1919, the nation fell still to reflect again.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester attended the National Memorial Arboretum Armistice Day Service in Staffordshire.
Memorial services are also being held in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Portsmouth to remember those who have lost their lives in military conflicts.
In Edinburgh, veterans, serving personnel and the public joined the city’s depute lord provost to pay tribute at the city’s Garden of Remembrance.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer marked the moment at Euston Station, in central London.
The national will pay further tributes on Sunday, including one attended by the Royal Family at the Cenotaph – the first since the death of the Queen.
The Royal Family will also appear at the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday evening.
The commemorations involved the recently restored Big Ben striking 11 times to signal the start of the silence.
November 11 commemorates the signing of the a peace deal between Britain, its allies and Germany during the First World War.
Armistice Day is observed by all nations of the Commonwealth, while many other countries mark the anniversary as a day of memorial.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is attending a remembrance service hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Mr Cleverly said that “as we salute our troops” this year, “Ukraine’s fight for freedom” will also be remembered.
He said: “Since 1918 we have marked Armistice Day and paid tribute to the brave men and women who have served to give us peace.
“Yet as we salute our troops this year, this peace has been shattered by a Russian aggressor.
“As we honour the war dead of the past, we also remember Ukraine ’s fight for freedom today.
“The UK stands steadfast with our friends and allies in defence of freedom and democracy in Ukraine and I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with an historic ally in Paris today.”
Foreign Secretary will also meet with French foreign minister Catherine Colonna to discuss the two countries’ support for Ukraine.
Armistice Day continues to be of great significance across the UK and the world.
One year after World War One ended, King George asked the public to hold a silence at 11am to honour the war dead.
He took the step so to ensure the “thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.
The Met Office said there were “exceptionally mild” conditions across Britain as it predicted Friday could be the warmest Armistice Day on record.
Big Ben will strike again on Remembrance Sunday with King Charles set to lead the nation in honouring the war dead for the first time as monarch.
The bell has been almost silent since 2017 while it was dismantled and repaired.
And Buckingham Palace has confirmed there will be some changes during the ceremony at the Cenotaph from when the service was led by the late Queen.
His Majesty will lay a new wreath at the Cenotaph on Sunday, which will be different in design to his late mothers.
However, the design of the new ring of poppies will pay tribute to the wreath used by both the late Queen and his grandfather King George VI.
It has been revealed the wreath will be mounted on an arrangement of black leaves, as is traditional for the sovereign, with the ribbon bearing the King’s racing colours of scarlet, purple and gold.
Royal racing colours were also incorporated into the wreaths of George V, George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.