Mons: This plaque at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) commemorates the Belgian city's liberation by Canadian troops in the last hours before the Armistice came into effect on 11 November 1918. Canada will be represented at a weekend of centenary events in Mons on November 10-11 (Photo: Centenary News)

Armistice Centenary events round-up, October/November 2018

Posted on on 18 October 2018
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A Centenary News look at some of the national, international and local commemorations coming up to mark the end of the First World War 100 years ago.

November 4: New Zealand will hold a commemorations in France marking the centenary of its last major action on the Western Front,  the liberation of Le Quesnoy - see WW100 New Zealand for details.

November 4: is also the centenary of the death of the British war poet, Wilfred Owen - killed in action during the crossing of the Sambre-Oise Canal. He's buried at Ors Communal Cemetery.  For details of commemorations in Ors, see Tourisme Cambrésis. In Britain, a wide-ranging programme of culltural events remembering Wilfred Owen is taking place in Shropshire, the county of his birth, from August-November.  See Wilfred Owen100.  Events are also planned in Birkenhead, where Owen spent much of his youth. See Owen in Birkenhead for more information. 

November 10: In Artois, an illuminated eve-of-Armistice vigil will be held at the main military cemeteries on November 10 to remember all those who fell in this region of Northern France. Sites include CWGC Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery in Arras. See La Grande Veillée and Arras 14-18 for information. 

Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery & the Arras Memorial (Photo: Centenary News)

See also Compiègne - Ville du Centenaire for the programme of First World War commemorative events taking place in Compiègne - where the Armistice was signed - in the run-up to November. Le Musée de l’Armistice 1914-18 at Rethondes has exhibits devoted to both world wars, including a replica of Marshal Foch’s railway carriage. The original was destroyed in Germany in the closing days of the Second World War.

November 10-11: Two days of commemorations are planned in Mons to mark the centenary of the city's liberation, and the day the guns at last fell silent on the Western Front. Events include a remembrance service at CWGC St Symphorien Cemetery - where commemorations were held at start of the 2014-18 Centenary - and the dedication of a new memorial to Private George Price close to where he fell. For more details, see VisitMons and Armistice Centenary Mons.

Numerous events will be taking place on the Centenary Armistice Day, Sunday November 11. Representatives of the countries involved in the Great War have been invited to Paris by President Macron.

In Ypres, there will be a special Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate at 11am. An Australian service will be held at the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux.

The Menin Gate (Photo: Centenary News)

Armistice Centenary in London:  Coinciding with Britain's Remembrance Sunday, the traditional ceremony at the Cenotaph will conclude with an expanded march-past. Members of the public - selected in a ballot - will take part in 'A Nation's Thank you - The People's Procession'. For details

As part of the day’s commemorations, Britain and Germany are joining in a call for bells of all kinds to be rung globally (at 12.30hrs GMT/13.30hrs CET/12.30 local time) to replicate the tolling of bells on November 11 as news of the Armistice spread.  The US Centennial Commission has already made a similar appeal to Americans - see Bells of Peace.

Pages of the Sea:  Selected beaches around the UK will be the setting for a tribute devised by film-maker Danny Boyle. A portrait of an individual from the First World War will emerge from the sand. And then, as the tide rises, it'll be washed away as communities gather to say a collective goodbye. Britain's Poet Laureate,  Carol Ann Duffy, has written a special poem for the centenary event. You can find designated beaches, and also participate online, by visiting Pages of the Sea, on the 14-18 NOW website.

View towards Scapa Beach, Orkney - among venues for Danny Boyle's 'Pages of the Sea' commemoration (Photo: Centenary News)

Battle’s Over - A Nation's Tribute:  An international commemorative event, starting at 6am with the traditional Scottish pipers’ lament, Battle’s O’er. More than 1,000 Beacons of Light will be lit at 7pm, symbolising an end to the darkness of war. Church bells will then be rung in celebration of peace. Organised by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek, events are planned across Britain - and in, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Bermuda, France, Belgium, Canada, the United States and Germany. See Battle's Over for more details.

Tower of London Poppies: A reminder that Wave and Weeping Window, the two main installations created for Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014, are on display at the Imperial War Museum's branches in Manchester and London. Wave is at IWM North until November 25 and Weeping Window at IWM London until November 18. Both will then join IWM's permanent collections.

At the Tower itself, there'll be a new installation for the Armistice Centenary. Beyond the Deepening Shadow will fill the moat with thousands of indivudual flames each evening from November 4-11.

Shrouds of the Somme:  72,396 individual figurines, sewn into shrouds created by artist Rob Heard, will be laid out at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from November 8-18. Each remembers a missing soldier commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Thiepval Memorial in the Somme. See Shrouds of the Somme for full information.

A selection of UK events

Centenary News has visited the 'Poppy of Honour' at  Wincanton, in Somerset. It bears the names of 1,115,471 members of British and Commonwealth forces killed or missing in action during the First World War. They include 800 women, crewmen of fishing fleets and more than 300 soldiers shot at dawn.

Wincanton's Poppy of Honour - Individual handwritten poppies within the steel and glass memorial commemorate more than one million First World War fallen  (Photo: Centenary News)

The Poppy of Honour will be displayed at Cale Park, Wincanton, until October 30 before starting a tour of Somerset towns, beginning in Frome on November 1 and culminating in Yeovil on November 19. In 2019, the memorial will travel around the UK and Ireland, and also be taken to Ypres.

Organisations have also been in touch with us about a range of other commemorative projects in October/November. 

'Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope':  An installation at Ripon Cathedral, North Yorkshire-  commemorating the sacrifices of those who returned from WW1 as well as those who did not. Created by the Yorkshire artist, Dan Metcalfe, it combines wet soil from the site of a WW1 military camp and hospital in Ripon with earth from the Flanders battlefields.

Gradually as the soil dries out, cracks will begin to appear revealing five battle weary silhouettes returning from the front, each with their own story, their backs to the past and facing the future. 'The silhouettes are no longer at war, but neither are they yet fully at peace'. 

Millions of poppy seeds - ready to germinate, once planted - are buried in the earth, representing hope and the resilience of life.

Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope is at Ripon Cathedral until November 14.  Viewing 9.30am-6pm daily. Admission is free.


'Forgotten': A new play by British East Asian playwright and actor Daniel York Loh - inspired by the story of the Chinese Labour Corps - will be performed at theatres in Plymouth and London. See Yellow Earth Theatre for details. 

Professional London première of 'Brass' - a play telling the story of a group of men from an amateur Leeds-based brass band who enlist to fight as part of the Leeds Pals regiment. Written by composer and film-maker Benjamin Till, Brass will be performed at the Union Theatre, London SE1

'The Muddy Choir', a story of three young soldiers from Sunderland at the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917 is touring to theatres in Durham, Sunderland, Workington and Cambridge. It will also be at the National Army Museum, London, from November 7-10. Details: Theatre Centre UK


'Penthos' - this newly-composed requiem will be performed by St Peter’s Singers in Leeds on October 27 as part of the city’s Armistice Centenary commemorations. The venue is St Michael’s Church Headingley. See Penthos for more information.

Remembrance projects

Milborne Port, Somerset:  Exhibitions about the history of the village during the First World War - Milborne Port History & Heritage Group. For contact details, see Milborne Port events, November 4-18. 

Hillingdon Village Remembers Weekend, November 9-11, Hillingdon, West London. Events include screening of Journey’s End,  an exhibition, music, readings, and remembrance of names on the war memorial. Information: St John’s Hillingdon.

Images: Centenary News

Posted by CN: Editorial Team