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1918 Armistice: Anniversaries

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans are being made to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armistice of 1918 next November; and if he will make a statement. (162378)

[holding answer 12 November 2007]: There are currently no plans for the Department to commemorate specifically the 90th anniversary of the end of the first world war but we are keeping this under review. While not denying the importance of any milestone related to the great war, our priority is to arrange commemorations which provide living veterans with an opportunity to remember their experiences on significant anniversaries which are generally the 25th, 50th and 60th. In addition, we also mark the centennials of major conflicts that have a central place in the national memory and this will be the case for the first world war in 2018.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Defence, announced, on 27 June 2006, Official Report, column 6WS, our plans for a major national event to mark the passing of the first world war generation some months after the death of the last known veteran resident in the UK. The overall aim will be for a reverential national event that is both commemorative and educational.

While the Department is not planning specific commemorations for the 90th anniversary, we will of course provide support where possible to veterans’ associations or other organisations that may be planning their own events.