2014 is a special year for Armistice Day

poppies flower

Every year in November, the UK stops for two minutes to remember the men and women who gave their lives in not just the two world wars but any subsequent conflicts that have taken place. And this year, Armistice Day will be extra special considering that 2014 marked both the centenary of the start of World War I and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance or Poppy Day, takes place on November 11th to mark the time, at the 11th hour, when the guns on the Western Front stopped fighting in 1918 at the end of World War I. Usually at 11am, the world halts for a two-minute silence, while the Sunday nearest to the date usually sees special remembrance services – this year, it will fall on November 9th.

Like any year, London will be marking the day spectacularly, with a Cenotaph Parade in Whitehall, co-ordinated by the Royal British Legion, while the city will also see church services and concerts in honour of this important date. Note that these parades may cause some road and rail closures. As this year brings with it two major anniversaries, local officials will be keen to make the commemorations bigger and better than ever before.

Beyond the ceremonies, London is marking Armistice Day through a series of exhibitions. These include War Artists at Sea at the Royal Museums Greenwich, Conflict, Time, Photography at Tate Modern, and Forgotten Fighters: the First World War at Sea at National Maritime Museum. If you want to check any of these out, be sure to book yourself into a hotel in London early in what can often be a busy period. Be sure to check the official London tourism website to see what else may be on during your visit.