Legion

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of the remembrance poppy) 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. ("At the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

The tradition of Remembrance Day evolved out of Armistice Day. The initial Armistice Day was observed at Buckingham Palace, commencing with King George V hosting a Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic during the evening hours of 10 November 1919. The first official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace the following morning. During the Second World War, many countries changed the name of the holiday. Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted Remembrance Day, while the US chose Veterans Day.

The Service of Remembrance in many Commonwealth countries generally includes the sounding of the "Last Post", followed by the period of silence, followed by the sounding of "Reveille" or sometimes just "The Rouse" (often confused for each other), and finished by a recitation of the "Ode of Remembrance". The "Flowers of the Forest", "O Valiant Hearts", "I Vow to Thee, My Country" and "Jerusalem" are often played during the service. Services also include wreaths laid to honour the fallen, a blessing, and national anthems.


Observance in the Commonwealth

The common British, Canadian, South African, and ANZAC tradition includes a one- or two-minute silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (11:00 am, 11 November), as that marks the time (in the United Kingdom) when the armistice became effective.

The Service of Remembrance in many Commonwealth countries generally includes the sounding of the "Last Post", followed by the period of silence, followed by the sounding of "Reveille" or sometimes just "The Rouse" (often confused for each other), and finished by a recitation of the "Ode of Remembrance". The "Flowers of the Forest", "O Valiant Hearts", "I Vow to Thee, My Country" and "Jerusalem" are often played during the service. Services also include wreaths laid to honour the fallen, a blessing, and national anthems.[5]

The central ritual at cenotaphs throughout the Commonwealth is a stylised night vigil. The Last Post was the common bugle call at the close of the military day, and The Rouse was the first call of the morning. For military purposes, the traditional night vigil over the slain was not just to ensure they were indeed dead and not unconscious or in a coma, but also to guard them from being mutilated or despoiled by the enemy, or dragged off by scavengers. This makes the ritual more than just an act of remembrance but also a pledge to guard the honour of war dead. The act is enhanced by the use of dedicated cenotaphs (literally Greek for "empty tomb") and the laying of wreaths—the traditional means of signalling high honours in ancient Greece and Rome.


Not to be confused with Remembrance Sunday or Armistice Day.This article is about the military memorial day on 11 November.

Reproduced from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day

Information on the Royal British Legion


royalbritishlegion@gmail.com



ODE OF REMEMBRANCE


With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,

England mourns for her dead across the sea.

Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,

Fallen in the cause of the free.


Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal,

Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.

There is music in the midst of desolation,

And a glory that shines upon her tears.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables at home;

They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;

They sleep beyond England's foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,

Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,

To the innermost heart of their own land they are known,

As the stars are known to the night.


As the stars will be bright when we are dust,

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,

To the end, to the end, they remain.

English poet Laurence Binyon, overwhelmed by the carnage and loss of life by British and Allied forces in World War 1, penned one of the most moving tributes the world has known to our war dead.

Titled; For the Fallen, the ode first appeared in The Times of London on September 21, 1914. It has now become known in Australia as the Ode of Remembrance, and the verse in bold above is read at dawn services and other ANZAC tributes.

At Returned Sevicemens' Clubs throughout Australia, members observe one minute's silence each night at 6:PM. The verse in bold is recited in memory of those who died. It is followed by the response, "Lest we forget".


Note: Every single man of the 331,781 who went overseas during World War 1, was a volunteer. From the landing on Gallipoli onwards, the Australian troops were used as the spearhead of every attack carried out by the various British armies in which they served. For this honour, they paid a terrible price: 59,258 were killed, 166,815 suffered wounds; 4,084 became prisoners of war.

The Encyclopedia Britannica states that the total casualties suffered by troops of the British Empire during the First World War amounted to 35.8 per cent of the forces mobilised for war service. The total Australian casualties however, amounted to 68.5 per cent of their armed forces, one of the highest percentages of any nation engaged in that war.

Reproduced from: http://www.5rar.asn.au/history/ode-of-remembrance.htm