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First World War Armistice: 90th Anniversary

Volume 704: debated on Monday 13 October 2008

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Kevan Jones) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Further to the announcement that my predecessor made on 22 May 2008, I am pleased to be able to provide further details of the Ministry of Defence’s plans to mark this year’s 90th anniversary of the Great War armistice on Tuesday 11 November.

We very much hope that the principal participants on 11 November will be remaining veterans of World War 1, who will lay wreaths as they remember fallen comrades of the Great War.  A short service will be led by the bishop of the Armed Forces, the right reverend David Conner, and military musicians and a choir will provide music.  The service will start at 10.45 am and will last for around 25 minutes.

This unique service will take place two days after our annual national act of remembrance for the fallen of the two world wars and conflicts since on Remembrance Sunday, when Her Majesty the Queen, other members of the Royal Family, senior politicians, military chiefs and heads of missions in London will lay wreaths and pay their respects.  No additional wreaths will therefore be laid by dignitaries on 11 November, but many will be in attendance to watch this historic event.

The MoD is currently in discussions about broadcasting the event live so it can be seen by a wider audience.  While members of the public will be welcome to watch, this will not be a ticketed event.  The Royal British Legion is organising “Silence in the Square” in Trafalgar Square. This event is aimed at promoting public participation in a collective act of commemoration at 11 am.  It is hoped that a large screen on Trafalgar Square will show the events taking place at the Cenotaph to ensure that those there can share in the commemoration and any members of the public who cannot be accommodated in Whitehall will be directed there.