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Remembrance Day: Nation pays tribute to fallen at 11th hour on 11th day of 11th month 100 years on

TODAY, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month exactly 100 years after the guns fell silent, Britain will remember. 

In Scotland, the First Minister will lead tributes to the fallen on the centenary of the end of the First World War. Nicola Sturgeon will lay a wreath at the Stone of Remembrance at Edinburgh City Chambers before attending a service at St Giles’ Cathedral.

Later, she will attend Glasgow Cathedral where more than 1,000 will gather to remember those lost in the conflict, in one of a series of special services marking the 100-year anniversary of the Armistice.

Remembrance in Glasgow (Chris Austin/ DC Thomson)

The First Minister said: “Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for people in Scotland to join with others across the world to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts during the last century.

“It allows us a chance to honour the memory of those who gave their lives, while also paying  tribute to our veterans and those who continue to serve today. This year, of course, has added poignancy as it marks 100 years since the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War.

“The laying of a wreath is a small but significant tribute, and I am privileged to be able to do so on behalf of the people of Scotland.”

Hour by Hour : November 11, 1918

Allied Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss phones Prime Minister Lloyd George with news of the Armistice. Wemyss then calls King George V.

A message that hostilities will cease at 11am is sent out to the British by bike, telegraph, horseback and motorbike.

The New York Times front page reads: ‘Armistice signed, end of the war!’

The British War Cabinet decides full military celebrations will be allowed.

US gun batteries attach ropes to the firing mechanisms of their weapons, so hundreds can fire the war’s last shot.

In the German trenches, enemy troops hear the American guns fall silent.

Suddenly a quiet descends along much of the frontline.

At Buckingham Palace, the king addresses a large crowd: “Thank God for the victories which the Allied armies have won and brought hostilities to an end and peace within sight.”

In London, Prince Charles will lay a wreath on behalf of the Queen at the Cenotaph in Whitehall as his mother watches from the balcony of the Foreign Office. A procession of 10,000 people will then pass the Cenotaph to pay their respects.

Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin, national president of the Royal British Legion Scotland, expects this year’s commemorations – including events in Stirling, Aberdeen, Dundee and across the Highlands – to be particularly moving.

He will attend both main events in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“It is a curious coincidence that the 100th anniversary falls directly on a Remembrance Sunday,” he said. “This will add a special flavour to a special day.

“I am looking forward to the sentiment that is going to come into my spirit throughout the day and I’m sure this will be similarly felt by very many people across Scotland.

“I am expecting to be very moved.”

Legion Scotland’s national chaplain, the Reverend Dr Karen Campbell, will jointly conduct the Armistice 100 Service at Edinburgh Castle at lunchtime.

She said: “It is a great honour.

“But I think it is important we do not just remember the sacrifices made by those in the First War but also to give thanks for the sacrifices made by people in every conflict we have been involved in since.

“We also have to remember that we have it within our gift to promote peace instead of war.”

Hour by Hour: November 11, 2018

Bagpipes will play at more than 2,000 locations around the world, including all Commonwealth countries.

Edinburgh will host the Armistice 100 Procession and Service of Commemoration National Parade.

Glasgow’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph will be held.

War portraits will be drawn on 32 beaches across Britain, six in Scotland.

A concert will be held at the former Craiglockhart Military Hospital in Edinburgh where poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon were treated.

More than 1,200 buglers across the country will sound The Last Post.

Around 1,300 beacons will be lit across Britain.

As the torches blaze, 1,300 church bells will ring out. The display will symbolise the light of hope that emerged from the darkness of war.

In Aberdeen, officials will join serving forces, reserves, veterans and cadets to pay respect in the city.

Representatives of the Armed Forces and ex-service organisations will muster in Little Belmont Street from 10am before parading to the war memorial led by the Grampian Police Scotland Pipe Band.

In Dundee, Remembrance Day will begin at 6am at St Paul’s Cathedral when a piper will play Battle’s Over at the moment when the armistice was signed a century ago.

And a 11am, a two-minute silence will be held at the Garden of Remembrance at St Mary’s Church in Nethergate.

Lord Provost of Dundee, Ian Borthwick, said: “There is a series of events on to allow people the opportunity to pay their respects on this poignant day.”

Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum last night (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

More than 150 Scottish landmarks will also be glowing red today.

Buildings large and small, from the globally iconic to the locally loved, will “Light Up Red” for Poppyscotland in a collective display of thanks to the generation that gave so much.

Twenty churches, 10 castles, seven war memorials, six clocks, five universities, four cathedrals, three lighthouses, two theatres and a phone box are among the venues involved.

People are being encouraged to take pictures of landmarks lit up in red and then share them on social media.

Gordon Michie, head of fundraising at Poppyscotland, said: “We wanted to broaden the reach of our Light Up Red campaign in this momentous year as a tribute to those who sacrificed so much during the First World War and to shine a light on those who continue to need Poppyscotland’s vital, life-changing support.”

Millions of people around Britain will fall silent at 11am as the nation marks the centenary with a series of large events.

In London, 10,000 members of the public will walk past the Cenotaph after the Royal British Legion’s veterans march to pay tribute to those who served in the conflict.

Those gathered at the Cenotaph – where wreaths will be laid by the Queen and the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier – will be joined by families across the UK, the Commonwealth Europe and America in remembering relatives who fought and died.

The Royal Family at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Big Ben will also strike today, despite the clock tower being covered in scaffolding for conservation works.

The 13.7 tonne bell, which hangs in the Elizabeth Tower in Westminster, will sound 11 times at 11am for the traditional two minutes of remembrance, the Government has said.

It will strike a further 11 times at 12.30pm along with bells across the UK and worldwide.

Some of today’s other main UK events include Beyond the Deepening Shadow at the Tower of London, where more than 10,000 flames will be lit by beefeaters.

As is the case every year, more than 120,000 individual tributes are placed across Britain’s national Fields of Remembrance.

People attach a poppy to a cross with personal messages and photographs to remember those who lost their lives in service.

There are six Fields of Remembrance – in Gateshead, Belfast and Cardiff as well as the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, Westminster Abbey in London and Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire. Up to 800,000 ceramic poppies, which first went on display at the Tower of London in 2014, are also finishing their four-year nationwide tour with an exhibition at the Imperial War Museums in London and Manchester.

After dark, a special light and sound projection will take place at the Scottish Parliament, with the names of all those who died serving on behalf of Scotland in the Great War to be beamed on to the building. It will take seven hours, from 5pm until midnight, for the names of each of the 134,712 men and women to be shown.

Buildings and landmarks across the country have also been showing their support for the Scottish Poppy Appeal by lighting up red in the week running up to, and including, Remembrance Day.

Scottish Conservative interim leader Jackson Carlaw said: “These are genuinely affecting events which demonstrate the determination of the nation to participate in this day of remembrance.

“This centenary commemoration of the Armistice represents a salute from the world of today to the world as it was then.”

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “100 years on it’s important to take time to reflect on the sacrifice of both those who fought bravely abroad and the men and women who kept life going on the home front.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “As well as remembering those who endured, suffered and lost during the First World War, the 100th anniversary of the Armistice should also serve as a catalyst to renew our collective effort to fight for peace, equality and an end to the sufferings of war that continue to afflict people across the globe.”

Meanwhile, Irish leader Leo Varadkar is to attend commemorations in Paris.

The Taoiseach said: “I will stand in memory of the more than 200,000 Irishmen who fought in the conflict and the many Irishwomen who witnessed the horrors of war and worked courageously to save lives.”

Lest we forget

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.