Wreaths laid in tribute to the fallen

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The Independent Online

Political leaders paid their respects to Britain's war dead in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph yesterday.

Political leaders paid their respects to Britain's war dead in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph yesterday.

The leaders of the government and opposition parties were joined by former prime ministers, the Speaker of the House of Commons and London's Mayor in laying wreaths on Remembrance Sunday.

All wreaths were of poppies except that of the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, which was laid on behalf of British Overseas Territories and made up of flowers from those lands.

When all the wreaths had been laid, the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, conducted a short religious service, attended by representatives of various Christian churches and other faiths, including Islam.

At the first stroke of Big Ben at 11am, a single round fired from a field gun signalled the start of a two-minute silence.

Just before 11 o'clock, the Queen, in black, emerged from the old Home Office building on Whitehall and took up her position facing the Cenotaph. Behind her, senior members of the Royal Family, in military uniform, stood to attention.

"O God Our Help in Ages Past" was sung by the choir of the Chapels Royal whose scarlet and gold coats added a touch of colour to an otherwise sombre scene.

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