Today -Thursday, November 11 – is Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War at 11am in 1918, with Remembrance Sunday always the second Sunday in November.
World War One began on July 28, 1914, ignited by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The conflict lasted four years, three months and 14 days, ending on November 11, 1918.
Almost 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel were killed during the conflict.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War One officially ended when an armistice was signed by Germany and the Allies.
Services today included wreath laying at Destiny in Albion Gardens in Ramsgate and hymns, a bugler, service and a minute’s silence in Ramsgate town centre, outside Timpson’s, as well as a service at the grave of the “Unknown Sailor” in St. Peter’s Churchyard.
Ramsgate mayor Raushan Ara said: “Today, on Armistice day, the 11th of November, we gathered together to remember all of those who lost their lives, for our sake, in conflicts throughout the world.
“My sincere thanks go to Fr. Paul Worledge for conducting the service at the Destiny statue in Albion Gardens and to Carl Whitewood and Rabbi Cliff Cohen for their service in Ramsgate town centre.
“Thank you to everyone who stopped and joined in our two minutes silence, the representatives from the Royal British Legion, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force, the Ramsgate Town Council technicians and clerks, and my PA, Kim Hobbs, and councillors for organising the event.
“A very special thank you goes out to Crafty Poppies, a crafting club, who kindly made and supplied us with the beautiful poppies, that we see around town.”
An Armistice Day service around the Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave of the “Unknown Sailor” in St. Peter’s Churchyard was also well attended.
Phil Hughes, Secretary of the Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Association (Merchant Navy) said: “The service was conducted by the vicar of St. Peter’s and attended by the Mayor of Broadstairs & St. Peter’s along with maritime standard bearers of the Royal Navy Submariners Association, the Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Association – M.N. and the Prince of Wales Sea Training School Association.
“Pupils from St. Peter’s School recited the Kohima Epitaph and the “Last Post” was played brilliantly by a pupil from Dane Court School, well done to them all. Thanks also to the organisers for their hard work in planning this event for the past few years.”
In Westgate beautiful poppy displays have been installed. Resident Wilfred Jenkins took the ‘Poppy Doll’ on a tour of the display.
He has also signed a special poem:
Poppy Poppy Poppy poppy what do you say?
Wear me on Remembrance Day.
Poppy poppy what do you tell?
Many soldiers in battle fell.
Poppy poppy what should we know?
That peace on earth should grow, grow, grow.
Mural creations marking Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day have also been installed by Cliffsend resident Beryl Harrison.
The 82-year-old has created the display outside her home in Beech Grove. It includes a tribute to 100 years of the Royal British Legion.
Beryl, who has been a fundraiser for disability causes for some 40 years and a co-founder fundraiser for a disability assessment centre in Canterbury, marks Remembrance and Armistice with her art and craft work every year.
When I was a lad, I remember stopping on my bicycle as all the traffic stopped at 1100 hours. The same thing happened when a funeral cortege passed by, everyone stopped, faced the street, and took off their hats, as they do in Wootten Basset today.
Respect for others is sadly lacking at times. In France, it is a public holiday because of course, the battles took place on their territory with much devastation and loss of life. Remembering the dead from wars is something that we can never forget and always try to avoid such confrontation if at all possible. But there are so many dictators in the world that it is unlikely to happen.
Was there a service in Margate today ?
In Margate today at 11.00 am the Chairman of Thanet District Councul, the Mayor of Margate, Chief Executive of TDC plus Departmental Managers were joined by members of the public on the steps of the Council for the 2 minute silence.
I always thought the Mayor and Charter Trustees of Margate held a ceremony at the Old Town Hall.
I’m Wilfred’s Mum. He was named after the WW1 poet Wilfred Owen…
Many of us who served in the armed forces when the Ministry of Defence was known as the Ministry of War, would prefer to forget our experiences, I know I do.
I find the words on the Cenotaph in London quite disturbing: “The Glorious Dead”. There’s nothing glorious about being shot to death nor blown to bits.
But some of those of us in the free world are mindful of the fact that we are “free” because so many men and women gave their lives fighting for that freedom.
“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today”
I remember, and I’m greatful.