Millions fall silent to remember war dead

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Millions of Britons fell silent today to remember those who have died in war.







But in London the solemn moment was marred by a small group of protesters styling themselves Muslims Against Crusades, who burned a model of a poppy.



As the clock struck 11am, the nation paused to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day, when peace returned to Europe at the end of the First World War.



The agreement between Germany and the Allies after four years of fighting took effect at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day" of 1918.



Wearing their poppies with pride, people joined in the two-minute silence as various commemoration services and events were held around the country.



The protest, in Exhibition Road, Kensington, involved about 30 people.



About 50 counter demonstrators gathered nearby but the two sides were kept apart by police.











Police clashed briefly with members of the Muslims Against Crusades group at one stage and at least one man was dragged to the floor and arrested.



But order was quickly restored as officers completely surrounded the small group.





Defence Secretary Liam Fox and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams joined war heroes, service personnel, veterans, military associations and schoolchildren for a service of remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, central London.



The road was closed and crowds lined the street for the poignant ceremony and wreath-laying.



Amid grey skies and damp conditions, there was applause as Victoria and George Cross holders took their places around the monument.







Among those attending was Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, of the Royal Marines Reserve, who was awarded the George Cross for bravery after he threw himself on to a bomb to smother the explosion while serving in Afghanistan in February 2008.



The 26-year-old, from Birmingham, survived the blast unhurt.



After today's annual service, organised by the Western Front Association, he said: "Even without the medals it's great there is so much support.



"People in the military don't really ask for much but just to have the support of the crowds here, it means a lot more than anything else.



"As long as that public support is there, people will continue to serve their country."



He said although the focus of remembrance tended to be on the First and Second World Wars, it was important to think about troops currently on operations.



L/Cpl Croucher was joined for the ceremony by other members of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association including 92-year-old Gurkha Lachhiman Gurung and Private Johnson Beharry.











A bugler from the Scots Guards sounded the Last Post to mark the start of the silence, during which the chimes of Big Ben could be heard.



After the bugler played the Reveille, children laid wreaths, along with representatives of the Western Front Association and other associations and military personnel.



Wearing a beret and the medals of relatives who lost their lives in war, seven-year-old Jonny Osborne, from New Southgate, north London, placed a cross with poppies at the monument which read: "Thank you, not forgetting."



Jonny was accompanied by his grandfather, Terry Burton, 67, who is president of the Association for Veterans of Foreign Wars.



Mr Burton, who lives in Georgia, US, returns to Britain for the event every year.



He said it was vital the younger generation learned about the sacrifices made by previous generations.



"There are so many countries that are still under oppression," he said. "It's important people understand what they have got and not take their freedom for granted."



Brother Nigel Cave, who led the prayers, said: "We remember with thanksgiving and sorrow those whose lives in world wars past and present have been given and taken away.



"We pray for all who through bereavement, disability and pain continue to suffer the consequences of fighting."



Accompanied by music by a piper from the London Scottish Regiment, the procession and guard of honour marched away from the Cenotaph at the end of the ceremony.

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin