Remembrance Sunday

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Remembrance Sunday
Royal British Legion's Paper Poppy - white background.jpg
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 nameRemembrance Sunday
Observed byUnited Kingdom
Liturgical Color(Red or green)
Observances Parades, silences
DateSecond Sunday in November
2017 dateNovember 12  (2017-11-12)
2018 dateNovember 11  (2018-11-11)
2019 dateNovember 10  (2019-11-10)
2020 dateNovember 8  (2020-11-08)
Frequencyannual
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". [1] It is held at 11 a.m. on the second Sunday in November (the Sunday nearest to 11 November, Armistice Day, [2] the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War in 1918).

Armistice Day commemoration on November 11 of the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany in 1918

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 US 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.

Contents

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 11 a.m. Church bells are usually rung half-muffled, creating a sombre effect. The service is held for about two hours.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Royal Naval Reserve volunteer reserve force of the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom

The Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) is the volunteer reserve force of the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. The present RNR was formed by merging the original Royal Naval Reserve, created in 1859, and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), created in 1903. The Royal Naval Reserve has seen action in World War I, World War II, the Iraq War and Afghanistan.

Royal Marines marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom

The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is the amphibious light infantry and one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the Royal Navy's infantry troops. However, the marines can trace their origins back to the formation of the English Army's "Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of Foot" at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company on 28 October 1664.

History

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. [3] 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 June (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. [4] 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" (being George VI). [5]

Magna Carta Angevin charter

Magna Carta Libertatum, commonly called Magna Carta, is a charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. First drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons. Neither side stood behind their commitments, and the charter was annulled by Pope Innocent III, leading to the First Barons' War. After John's death, the regency government of his young son, Henry III, reissued the document in 1216, stripped of some of its more radical content, in an unsuccessful bid to build political support for their cause. At the end of the war in 1217, it formed part of the peace treaty agreed at Lambeth, where the document acquired the name Magna Carta, to distinguish it from the smaller Charter of the Forest which was issued at the same time. Short of funds, Henry reissued the charter again in 1225 in exchange for a grant of new taxes. His son, Edward I, repeated the exercise in 1297, this time confirming it as part of England's statute law.

Archbishop of Westminster Wikimedia list article

The Archbishop of Westminster heads the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, in England. The incumbent is the Metropolitan of the Province of Westminster, Chief Metropolitan of England and Wales and, as a matter of custom, is elected President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and therefore de facto spokesman of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. All previous Archbishops of Westminster have become Cardinals. Although all the bishops of the restored diocesan episcopacy took new titles, like that of Westminster, they saw themselves in continuity with the pre-Reformation Church and post-Reformation Vicars Apostolic and Titular Bishops. Westminster, in particular, saw itself as the continuity of Canterbury, hence the similarity of the coat of arms of the two Sees, with Westminster believing it has more right to it since it features the pallium, a distinctly Catholic symbol of communion with the Holy See.

Home Office United Kingdom government ministerial department

The Home Office (HO) is a ministerial department of Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for immigration, security and law and order. As such it is responsible for policing in England and Wales, fire and rescue services in England, and visas and immigration and the Security Service (MI5). It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs, counter-terrorism and ID cards. It was formerly responsible for Her Majesty's Prison Service and the National Probation Service, but these have been transferred to the Ministry of Justice. The Cabinet minister responsible for the department is the Home Secretary.

National ceremony in the United Kingdom

The ceremony at the Cenotaph Her Majesty the Queen Lays a Wreath at the Cenotaph London During Remembrance Sunday Service MOD 45152054.jpg
The ceremony at the Cenotaph
Group of wreaths laid during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in London Wreaths at the Cenotaph 2016.jpg
Group of wreaths laid during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in London

The national ceremony is held in London at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, starting with two minutes' silence at 11 a.m. and concluding with the end of The Nation’s Thank You procession at 1:30 p.m. [6] 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.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Whitehall road in the City of Westminster, in central London

Whitehall is a road in the City of Westminster, Central London, which forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. The street is recognised as the centre of the Government of the United Kingdom and is lined with numerous departments and ministries, including the Ministry of Defence, Horse Guards and the Cabinet Office. Consequently, the name 'Whitehall' is used as a metonym for the British civil service and government, and as the geographic name for the surrounding area.

Regional and local ceremonies

The Remembrance Sunday parade in Oxford in 2011. Remembrance Sunday parade, Oxford (6352329691).jpg
The Remembrance Sunday parade in Oxford in 2011.
Remembrance Service at Trinity College, Cambridge in 2018. Cmglee Cambridge Trinity College Remembrance Service 2018.jpg
Remembrance Service at Trinity College, Cambridge in 2018.

Significant ceremonies also take place in the capitals of the nations and across the regions of the United Kingdom. [7] Most notably at the Scottish National War Memorial, in Edinburgh in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle, [8] the Welsh National War Memorial in Cardiff [9] and at the Northern Ireland War Memorial and Cenotaph in Belfast in the grounds of the Belfast City Hall. [10]

Scottish National War Memorial

The Scottish National War Memorial is located in Edinburgh Castle and commemorates Scottish soldiers, and those serving with Scottish regiments, who died in the two world wars and more recent conflicts. The monument was formally opened in 1927. It is housed in a redeveloped barrack block in Crown Square, at the heart of the castle, and incorporates numerous monuments.

Edinburgh Capital city in Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.

Edinburgh Castle castle in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland from its position on the Castle Rock. Archaeologists have established human occupation of the rock since at least the Iron Age, although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633. From the 15th century the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison. Its importance as a part of Scotland's national heritage was recognised increasingly from the early 19th century onwards, and various restoration programmes have been carried out over the past century and a half. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite rising of 1745. Research undertaken in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world".

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. [11] The start and end of the silence is often also marked by the firing of an artillery piece. [12] A minute's or two minutes' silence is also frequently incorporated into church services. [13]

British Overseas Territories

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. [14] [15]

Northern Ireland

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 organized 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.

Other ceremonies

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

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. [16] 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. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

Anzac Day National day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand on 25 April

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 memorial day on 11 November

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.

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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.

Royal Canadian Legion organization

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.

Shrine of Remembrance War memorial in Melbourne, Australia

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Last Post British and Commonwealth bugle call

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Green Island (Rideau River) island at the end of the Rideau River, Ontario, Canada

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Remembrance poppy

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The Cenotaph (Hong Kong) war memorial in Hong Kong

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.

Sydney Cenotaph war memorial in Martin Place, Sydney

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Belfast Cenotaph

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Field of Remembrance

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Gibraltar Cross of Sacrifice war memorial in Gibraltar

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Centenary of the outbreak of World War I

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National Service of Remembrance

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.

References

  1. "[ARCHIVED CONTENT] Department for Culture Media and Sport – remembrance sunday" . Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  2. These two statements are in effect the same: the second Sunday is always between 8 and 14 November inclusive, so the second Sunday is no more than three days away from 11 November, and therefore always the Sunday nearest to 11 November.
  3. Cecil, Hugh (1998). At the Eleventh Hour. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. p. 354. ISBN   978-0850526448.
  4. Newall, Venetia (1976). "Armistice Day: Folk Tradition in an English Festival of Remembrance". Folklore. 87 (2): 229.
  5. Cecil 1998, pp. 357-358
  6. "Remembrance Sunday 2018: Find out how you can join the commemorations on Sunday 11 November" . Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  7. Nation unites to remember fallen.
  8. Services held to honour war dead.
  9. Army band heads remembrance event.
  10. War dead are remembered across NI.
  11. "Hundreds turn out for Remembrance Day parade in Rugby". The Rugby Advertiser . 12 November 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  12. "Remembrance Sunday: Services honour war dead". BBC News. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  13. "Armistice Day, poppies and why the act of remembrance matters". The Daily Telegraph . 11 November 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  14. Brady, Brian (2 November 2008). "British territories demand right to lay Cenotaph wreaths". The Independent . Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  15. Rosindell, Andrew. "British Overseas Territories And Remembrance Sunday". Early Day Motion. Parliament of the United Kingdom . Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  16. Sørensen, Nils Arne (2003). "Commemorating the Great War in Ireland and the Trentino: An Essay in Comparative History". Nordic Irish Studies. Centre for Irish Studies in Aarhus and the Dalarna University Centre for Irish Studies. 2: 137. JSTOR   30001490.
  17. Helen Robinson, 'Lest we Forget? The Fading of New Zealand War Commemorations, 1946–1966', New Zealand Journal of History, 44, 1 (2010).