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The poppy is worn around the time of Remembrance Sunday (traditionally from All Souls' Day (2 November) until the later of; Remembrance Day (11 November) or Remembrance Sunday)
|Official name||Remembrance Sunday|
|Observed by||United Kingdom|
|Liturgical Color||(Red or green)|
|Date||Second Sunday in November|
|2019 date||10 November|
|2020 date||8 November|
|2021 date||14 November|
|Related to||Remembrance Day and Armistice Day|
Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts".It is held at 11am on the second Sunday in November (the Sunday nearest to 11 November, Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War in 1918). Remembrance Sunday, within the Church of England, falls in the liturgical period of Allsaintstide.
It is marked by ceremonies at local war memorials in most cities, towns and villages, attended by civic dignitaries, ex-servicemen and -women (many are members of the Royal British Legion and other veterans' organisations), members of local armed forces regular and reserve units (Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines and Royal Marines Reserve, Army and Territorial Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Auxiliary Air Force), military cadet forces (Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps as well as the Combined Cadet Force) and youth organisations (e.g. Scouts, Boys' Brigade, Girls' Brigade and Guides). Wreaths of remembrance poppies are laid on the memorials and two minutes' silence is held at 11am. Church bells are usually rung half-muffled, creating a sombre effect. The service is held for about two hours.
The focus of remembrance for the dead of the First World War originally fell on Armistice Day itself, commencing in 1919. As well as the National Service in London, events were staged at town and village war memorials, often featuring processions of civic dignitaries and veterans.
The first UK commemoration of the end of World War 1 at Buckingham Palace, with King George V hosting a "Banquet in Honour of The President of the French Republic" . A two-minute silence was observed at 11am on 11 November 1919.
While the initial, spontaneous public reaction when the Armistice was signed on the 11 November 1918 was jubilation and celebration, the 1919 banquet was criticised for being too celebratory.
The following year, Armistice Day in 1920, the funeral of Unknown Soldier took place at the London Cenotaph and a two-minute silence was observed throughout the nation. Buses halted, electricity was cut to tram lines, and even trading on the London Stock Exchange halted.
Starting in 1921, the Royal British Legion began selling Remembrance Poppies to raise funds for ex-service men. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the character of the remembrance events became politicised. While for some, Armistice Day was a day for recognising the horrors of war, never to be repeated; for others the day symbolised the honour of military service.
In 1923 a Christian Pacifist MP was elected to parliament. In the middle 1930s the Peace Pledge Union gained wide support. Pacifism gained great publicity from a 1933 student debate in the Oxford University Union that voted for a resolution that 'this House will in no circumstances fight for King and Country'. The first White Poppy were sold by the Co-operative Women's Guild in 1933.
During the Second World War, the commemorations were moved to the Sunday preceding 11 November as an emergency measure to avoid disruption of the production of vital war materials.
In May 1945, just before VE Day, the new government began consultation with the churches and the British Legion on the future of remembrance. Armistice Day in 1945 actually fell on a Sunday, avoiding the need to change the wartime practice. Some thought that to continue with the 11 November would focus more on the First World War and downplay the importance of the Second. Other dates suggested were 8 May (VE Day), 6 June (D-Day), 15 August (VJ Day), 3 September (the declaration of war), and even 15 June (the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215). The Archbishop of Westminster proposed that the second Sunday in November should be named Remembrance Sunday in commemoration of both World Wars, a suggestion which was endorsed by the Home Office in January 1946.In June of that year, the prime minister, Clement Attlee, announced in the House of Commons that "the Government felt that this view would commend itself to all quarters of the country. I am glad to say that it has now found general acceptance here and has been approved by The King."
The national ceremony is held in London at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, starting with two minutes' silence at 11am and concluding with the end of The Nation's Thank You procession at 1:30 p.m. The main part of the ceremony consists of the laying of wreaths by members of the royal family and other dignitaries, prayers, music and a march-past by thousands of military and other units.
Significant ceremonies also take place in the capitals of the nations and across the regions of the United Kingdom.Most notably at the Scottish National War Memorial, in Edinburgh in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle, the Welsh National War Memorial in Cardiff and at the Northern Ireland War Memorial and Cenotaph in Belfast in the grounds of the Belfast City Hall.
Typically, poppy wreaths are laid by representatives of the Crown, the armed forces, and local civic leaders, as well as by local organisations such as ex-servicemen organisations, cadet forces, the Scouts, Guides, Boys' Brigade, St John Ambulance and the Salvation Army.The start and end of the silence is often also marked by the firing of an artillery piece. A minute's or two minutes' silence is also frequently incorporated into church services.
In the past, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs laid a wreath on behalf of all the British overseas territories. However, since 2001 there has been a campaign by Britain's Overseas Territories Association for the right to lay a wreath themselves at the annual service at the Cenotaph. In 2008 the Labour Government agreed that one wreath could be laid for all 14 territories by a representative of the territories.
In Northern Ireland, Remembrance Sunday has tended to be associated with unionists. Most Irish nationalists and republicans do not take part in the public commemoration of British soldiers organised by the Royal British Legion. This is partly due to the actions of the British Army during The Troubles and its role in fighting against Irish independence. However, some moderate nationalists have attended Remembrance Day events as a way to connect with the unionist community. In 1987 a bomb was detonated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) just before a Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Enniskillen, killing eleven people. The IRA said it had made a mistake and had been targeting soldiers parading to the war memorial. The Republic of Ireland has its own National Day of Commemoration in July for all Irish people who died in war.
From 1919 until 1945, Armistice Day observance was always on 11 November itself. It was then moved to Remembrance Sunday, but since the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 1995, it has become usual to hold ceremonies on both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.
In 2006, then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown proposed that in addition to Remembrance Sunday, a new national day to celebrate the achievements of veterans should be instituted. The "Veterans Day", to be held in the summer, would be similar to Veterans Day celebrations in the United States. This has now been renamed "Armed Forces Day", to include currently serving troops to Service families, and from veterans to cadets. The first "Armed Forces Day" was held on 27 June 2009.
Submariners hold an additional remembrance walk and ceremony on the Sunday before Remembrance Sunday, which has The Submariners Memorial as its focal point.
Outside the United Kingdom Anglican and Church of Scotland churches often have a commemorative service on Remembrance Sunday. In the Republic of Ireland there is an ecumenical service in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, the Church of Ireland's national cathedral. Since 1993 the President of Ireland has attended this service.The state has its own National Day of Commemoration (held in July) for all Irish men and women who have died in war. In the United States it is celebrated by many Anglo-Catholic churches in the Episcopal Church. The Anglican Church of Korea also celebrates the day to commemorate, in particular, the Commonwealth soldiers who fought in the Korean War with a service at the Seoul Anglican Cathedral.
In New Zealand an attempt was made to change Armistice Day to Remembrance Sunday after World War II but it was a failure, partly owing to competition from Anzac Day.
It is a common theme in British tabloid journalism in October and November to "expose" politicians and celebrities who have chosen not to wear a red Royal British Legion poppy. Critics have labelled this "poppy fascism",as persons who refuse to wear poppies on TV or at sporting events routinely receive death threats.
A common criticism of Remembrance Sunday ceremonies and the Royal British Legion is that by focusing only on veterans and military persons who have died, the vast majority of the casualties of war (civilians) are forgotten.
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France at 5:45 am, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. But, according to Thomas R. Gowenlock, an intelligence officer with the U.S. First Division, shelling from both sides continued for the rest of the day, only ending at nightfall. The armistice initially expired after a period of 36 days and had to be extended several times. A formal peace agreement was only reached when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.
A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire.
In Ireland, the National Day of Commemoration commemorates all Irish people who died in past wars or United Nations peacekeeping missions. It occurs on the Sunday nearest 11 July, the anniversary of the date in 1921 that a truce was signed ending the Irish War of Independence. The principal ceremony is held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland.
The Royal Canadian Legion is a non-profit Canadian ex-service organization founded in 1925. Membership includes people who have served as military, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police, Royal Canadian Air, Army and Sea Cadets, direct relatives of members and also affiliated members. Membership is now also open to the general public.
The "Last Post" is either an A or a B♭ bugle call, primarily within British infantry and Australian infantry regiments, or a D or an E♭ cavalry trumpet call in British cavalry and Royal Regiment of Artillery, and is used at Commonwealth military funerals, and ceremonies commemorating those who have been killed in war. Its duration varies typically from a little over one minute to nearly three minutes. For ceremonial use, the "Last Post" is often followed by "The Rouse", or less frequently the longer "Reveille".
The white poppy is a flower used as a symbol of peace, worn either in place of or in addition to the red remembrance poppy for Remembrance Day or Anzac Day.
The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower sold by veteran's associations to raise money for servicemen and servicewomen.
The Cenotaph is a war memorial constructed in 1923 and located between Statue Square and the City Hall in Central, Hong Kong, that commemorates the dead in the two world wars who served in Hong Kong in the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Built in stone, it is an almost exact replica of the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, UK. It is listed as a monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
The Sydney Cenotaph is a heritage-listed monument located in Martin Place, in the Sydney, Australia. It was designed by Bertram Mackennal and built from 1927 to 1929 by Dorman Long & Co. It is also known as Martin Place Memorial and The Cenotaph. It is one of the oldest World War I monuments in central Sydney. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 11 November 2009.
The Belfast Cenotaph is a war memorial in Belfast, in Donegall Square West, to the west of Belfast City Hall. Like the City Hall, it was designed by Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas. The cenotaph was unveiled in 1929. It became a Grade A listed building in 1984.
Major-General David Nial Creagh, The O'Morchoe,, also known as David O'Morchoe, was a British Army officer. The O'Morchoe was a President of the Royal British Legion branch in the Republic of Ireland, and also President of the Leinster Regiment historical association and President of the Tipperary Remembrance Trust. He was the hereditary Chief and Prince of the Ó Murchadha (Murphy/Morrow) Sept, a cadet line of the ancient Irish dynasty the Uí Cheinnselaig, who were Kings of Leinster.
The Cenotaph is a war memorial on Whitehall in London, England. Its origin is in a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War, and after an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's official national war memorial.
The South African Legion is the oldest military veterans organisation in South Africa. It is referred to simply as the SA Legion or even 'The Legion' and is one of the largest independent military veterans charities in South Africa.
The Field of Remembrance is a memorial garden organised annually by the Poppy Factory in Westminster, London.
The Gibraltar Cross of Sacrifice is a war memorial in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is located west of North Front Cemetery, at the junction of Winston Churchill Avenue and Devil's Tower Road. The Cross of Sacrifice was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1917, and his monument is found in numerous Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries. The cross in Gibraltar was erected by the Royal Engineers for the commission, and unveiled on Armistice Day 1922. The British Pathé film recorded at the dedication ceremony that day represents the first motion picture made in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Cross of Sacrifice served as the focus of Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in Gibraltar until 2009, at which time the location was changed to the Gibraltar War Memorial.
Northampton War Memorial, officially the Town and County War Memorial, is a First World War memorial on Wood Hill in the centre of Northampton, the county town of Northamptonshire, in central England. Designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is a Stone of Remembrance flanked by twin obelisks draped with painted stone flags standing in a small garden in what was once part of the churchyard of All Saints' Church.
The National Service of Remembrance is held annually on Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London. It commemorates "the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts". The service has its origins in the 1920s and has changed little in format since.
The County Fermanagh War Memorial stands in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It was originally constructed to commemorate the men of the town killed during the First World War, particularly those serving with the local regiments, the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. It was later altered to also commemorate those killed in the Second World War.
For many twentieth-century Christians the All Saints-tide period is extended to include Remembrance Sunday. In the Calendar and Lectionary we have sought to make it easier to observe this without cutting across a developing lectionary pattern, and we have reprinted the form of service approved ecumenically for use on that day.