Explore Grange Hotels’ Latest Blog Posts and Press Releases
The remembrance service has not changed since 1930. People will make their way to the Cenotaph in Whitehall to pay respects to those who gave their lives in service to their country.
Whitehall opens to the public. Space is limited and police security checks are in place so, be sure to arrive early!
Royal British Legion (RBL) detachments form up on Horse Guards Parade and in Whitehall.
All detachments march out from Wellington Barracks to the Cenotaph.
Two minutes silence marked by the firing of guns from King’s Troop on Horse Guards Parade.
Cenotaph Service concludes and Royal British Legion detachments disperse past the Cenotaph.
The Nation’s Thank You procession commences
The Nation’s Thank You procession ends
As usual, no tickets or passes are needed to watch the ceremony from the pavements along Whitehall and Parliament Street.
This year, there will be large screens north of the Cenotaph, near the green outside the main Ministry of Defence building and mounted outside the Scotland Office and south of the Cenotaph on the corner of King Charles Street, so you have plenty of options to view the service.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, four years of tragic, nonstop warfare that changed the face of the world forever, finally came to a close. The seminal catastrophe of the 20th century, the First World War cost the lives of around 40 million people all over the world.
On 28th July 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, setting in motion a chain of events that would change the world. None of Central Europe's empires or monarchies would survive, Russia would go through revolution and the political landscape of the world would be changed forever.
Over those four years, war would change too. From uniforms to weaponry, logistics and tactics, war during the 20th Century was unrecognisable from the second Boer War, just 25 years earlier.
Artillery and cavalry would be used differently, as trench warfare turned a war of movement into a war of attrition. We would also see innovations such chemical gas, planes and tanks, all being used for the first time, and all for at the cost of the lives of millions of men. This was modern war.
In the UK around 6 million men were mobilised, and of those over 700,000 were killed. But it didn't end there. In the struggle against the Central Powers, Britain called upon all its dominions and colonies for support, eventually committing over 8 million soldiers to the fight. In total, more than 3 million would be killed, wounded or captured.
As the Central Powers' allies capitulated the fight in autumn 1918, Germany and Austria-Hungary were running out of options. While they were able to move troops from the Eastern Front after Russia left the war, the Allies had breached the German defence known as the Hindenburg Line and the Kaiser's army was on its last legs. On 30th September 1918, Quartermaster general Erich Ludendorff famously told the Kaiser: "we cannot fight the whole world".
And so, after four years of bloodshed, an armistice was reached.
On 11th November 1918, an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at 11am — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.
The first Armistice Day was held at Buckingham Palace on the evening of 10th November 1919, commencing with King George V hosting a "Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic". The first official Armistice Day events were subsequently held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on the morning of 11 November 1919. This would set the trend for a day of Remembrance for decades to come.
In 1920, the Cenotaph was unveiled to the world and has been the focal point for Armistice Day ever since. The ceremony we will see on 11th November 2018 will be almost identical to the one seen in 1930.
Sadly, the First World War was not the "war to end all wars". As such, Armistice Day is now more commonly known as Remembrance Day. Service men and women from all conflicts are now remembered.
If you're thinking about visiting the capital this November, book your room at one of our central London hotels.