As Big Ben struck at 11am and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired their First World War guns at the Cenotaph, silence ensued in the heart of Whitehall. Stood side by side in solemn silence, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn commemorated the servicemen and women who have given their lives in war.
The ideological gulf between the Prime Minister and the Labour opposition leader could arguably be glimpsed in the different messages they chose to write on their poppy wreaths. While Ms May appeared to emphasise defence, Mr Corbyn highlighted the need to foster a peaceful world.
“In memory of the fallen and their selfless sacrifice in defence of our freedom. We will remember them,” Ms May’s first poppy wreath personal message as Prime Minister read.
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While Mr Corbyn’s read: “In honour of those who must not have died in vain, we must bring about a peaceful world”.
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron’s poppy wreath said: “Your courage and sacrifice in the face of evil secured our liberty and way of life. This will never be forgotten.”
Angus Robertson, the Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party, wrote “lest we forget” in Gaelic, English and Welsh on his wreath. It was also written in Welsh because he is at the event on behalf of Plaid Cymru. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was not at the national service as she is attending the annual wreath laying and Remembrance Sunday service at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh.
The Queen led the commemorations, laying the first wreath, followed by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. This year's commemorations come 100 years after two of the most brutal battles in the First World War - the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Jutland. On the first day of the Somme, more than 19,200 British soldiers died but by the end of the four-month long battle, more than a million soldiers from all sides had been killed or injured.Reuse content