This year the annual National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph will be a closed ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, there are many ways you can mark the occasion safely, either outdoors, while following social distancing guidance, online or at home.
Things you can do and watch in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day on the 8th and 11th of November
- Share your stories, family histories and messages of remembrance on social media by using #WeWillRememberThem to join the conversation now.
- Post a tribute in the Royal British Legion’s virtual Field of Remembrance or on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Wall of Remembrance.
- Support the Poppy Appeal by donating for poppies through the post for your neighbours and local community, displaying a poppy in your window, donating online or taking part in a virtual Poppy run.
- Making your own poppy or Remembrance window display? Why not share an image of your poppy tributes on social media using #WeWillRememberThem. Download and use our colouring in window cards below (right click and select ‘Save As):
- The Royal British Legion has an excellent list of ideas for Remembrance activities including holding a small Remembrance service in your garden or writing letters of Remembrance to veterans or serving personnel.
- Historic England has recommended 132 war memorials for listing this year. The listings include Old Basing War Memorial, Basingstoke, which commemorates 25 local men lost in a wide range of locations such as France, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine and Gallipoli, and includes the names of two brothers who sadly died on the same day, whilst in the same regiment. Find out more about the memorials listed.
- Premier League Academy players have interviewed a range of Second World War veterans, who were also professional football players. Teachers and schools can also use the Football Remembers films as part of their Remembrance activity. You can see the films, and other teaching resources, on the Big Ideas website.
- To mark Remembrance this year, Ancestry has made over 1 billion UK wartime records free to access from the 2nd to the 8th of November, so you can discover the personal stories and roles your family played in the First and Second World Wars.
- The Royal Air Force Museum is asking people to write poems to go in its online gallery, or create a poppy to be added to its virtual poppy display at the London and Cosford Museums.
On Remembrance Sunday
- On Sunday 8th November, the closed annual Remembrance Sunday service is expected to take place with representatives of the Royal Family, the Government and the Armed Forces, and a small representation from the Commonwealth, other countries and territories, all laying wreaths at the Cenotaph.
- The public are urged to remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice marking the national two minute silence at 11:00, as the service is broadcast nationwide on BBC One, Sky and ITV.
- Watch the live stream of the service at the Cenotaph on the DCMS Facebook page.
On Armistice Day
The Armistice, an agreement to end the fighting of the First World War as a prelude to peace negotiations, began at 11am on 11th November 1918. “Armistice” is Latin for “to stand (still) arms”.
- To this day we mark Armistice Day around the United Kingdom with a two minute Silence at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month. This year’s two minute silence will be broadcast on BBC One and other TV channels.
- Join the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in looking up to the stars at 7pm to remember those who died during the two World Wars. Head to CWGC’s website to name a star after your Commonwealth descendant and help their names #ShineOn
- IWM’s Annual Remembrance Debate 2020 takes place on Armistice Day bringing together a panel of artists, commissioners and historians who will debate “what is the role of artists in shaping understanding of our history?” It will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 22:00.
Learn more about the history of Remembrance and Armistice Day
- Find out about the history of the Cenotaph, a monument that has become the focal point of remembrance in Britain
- The Royal British Legion explains ‘What is Remembrance?’ and ‘What we’re remembering this year’
- BBC Newsround explores ‘What is Remembrance Day?’
- The Royal British Legion’s has teaching materials available for everyone to access and learn about the heritage and tradition of Remembrance
- Did you know that, 100 years ago today, an unidentified soldier was buried amongst kings at Westminster Abbey? This Armistice Day we mark the centenary of the Burial of the Unknown Warrior. Find out more on the story behind the burial on our shorthand story and in Historic England’s blog.