Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday, which falls on 14 November in 2021, is a national opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life.

We remember the Armed Forces, and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict or terrorism.

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.

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.

Why do we wear a poppy

The most recognizable symbol of Remembrance Sunday is the red poppy, which became associated with World War I memorials after scores of the flowers bloomed in the former battlefields of Belgium and northern France. (The phenomenon was depicted in the popular 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields,” by Canadian soldier John McCrae.)

In 1921 the newly formed British Legion (now the Royal British Legion), a charitable organization for veterans, began selling red paper poppies for Armistice Day, and its annual Poppy Appeal has been enormously successful since.

In addition to poppies intended to be worn on clothing, wreaths made of poppies are frequently displayed at memorial sites. 

The money raised from their sale is designated for the support of the armed forces, their families and their dependants.

The British Legion's theme for the campaign this year is "Every Poppy Counts", with the charity hoping for a successful year following severely hampered efforts due to last year's pandemic..

Locally

There is a Church Service held at St. Andrew’s Church and a two-minute silence held at the War Memorial at the Market Place as a public act of remembrance. The two-minute silence, held each year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, marks the end of the First World War.

In addition to Remembrance Day on 11 November each year (Armistice Day) there will be an act of remembrance on the front steps of the Town Hall.

Chippenham Hospital Radio will be broadcasting its annual Remembrance Day programme with words, poems, music and prayer as well as the 2 minute silence from 10.00am on the 14th November.

To find out more about Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day go to https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/about-remembrance/armistice-day