Armistice Day - The First World War officially ended on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day on the eleventh month, 1918. A year later began the act of a Two Minute Silence on the anniversary of Armistice by those who did not want to forget the millions killed, injured and affected.
Now generally called Remembrance Day, people in their millions stop and observe the Two Minute Silence at 11am on 11 November each year in the memory of those who have been affected in all conflicts since that day.
Last year I was fortunate enough to visit the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The Arboretum is a place of remembrance for both military and civilian personal serving our nation.
The Arboretum covers a massive 150 acres and has a memorial for every service and major unit within the Armed forces and civil services. It was opened in 2001; seven years after its original conception by Commander David Childs CBE who wished to see an established national focus for remembrance.
The Armed Forces Memorial honours those members of the Armed Forces (Regular and Reserve) who were killed on duty.
The Memorial is a stunning piece of architecture. It comprises of a 43 metre diameter stone structure made up of two curved walls and two straight walls. On them the names of those honoured.
Since the end of World War II the men and women of the Armed Forces, often as part of United Nations, NATO or other international coalitions have taken part in more than 50 operations and conflicts across the world.
It’s not just Service Personnel who’ve made the sacrifice. Behind every name on the Memorial are the wives, husbands, partners, parents, children and colleagues who loved them and who live with the pain and consequences of their loss every day.
Canal Zone 1951-54
Arabian Peninsula 1957-60
Cyprus 1964 to present day
South Arabia 1964-67
Malay Peninsula 1964-65
Northern Ireland 1969-2007
South Atlantic 1982
Gulf of Suez 1984
Western Sahara 1991 to present day
Northern Iraq/Southern Turkey 1991
Air Operations Iraq 1991-2003
Former Yugoslavia 1992-2002
Georgia 1993 to present day
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1996 to present day
Sierra Leone 1998 to present day
Sierra Leone 1999-2002
Congo 1999 to present day
Kosovo 1999 to present day
East Timor 1999
Ethiopia & Eritrea 2000 to present day
Afghanistan 2001 to present day
Balkans 2003 to present day
Iraq 2003 to 2011