The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 Europe fell silent after a gruelling four years of bitter fighting. World War One was finally over - Germany, low on manpower and supplies faced imminent invasion, and signed the armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France, at 5am on November 11, 1918. Six hours later, at 11am, the war had ended. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. On top of that, at least five million civilians died as a result of war either from disease, starvation, or exposure. Throughout Britain and the Commonwealth, the first Remembrance Day took place in 1919 and was originally called Armistice Day - commemorating the end of hostilities the previous year. It symbolised the end of the war and provided an opportunity for the nation to pause and remember those who had lost their lives. In a letter published in the London Evening News on 8 May 1919, an Australian journalist, Edward George Honey, had proposed a respectful silence to remember those who had given their lives in the First World War. This was brought to the attention of King George V and on 7 November 1919, the King issued a proclamation which called for a two minute silence:
"All locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead."After the end of the Second World War in 1945 Armistice Day became Remembrance Day to include all those who had fallen in the two World Wars and other conflicts. Now, this anniversary on the 11th November is used to remember all the people who've fought and died in wars since World War I including soldiers from WWII, and other conflicts including the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is also for those who have lost comrades and loved ones. On Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day I will take time to remember the millions killed, injured and affected by war. We should all make sure that we take the time to reflect. How will you commemorate those who lost their lives for our freedom? Source: BBC Do you know enough about your ancestors and their military past? You could find out more — there could be a war hero in your family just waiting to be discovered and remembered. Delve into the interesting world of military genealogy and search the Forces War Records site and let us help you start, or continue your genealogy quest… To mark the significant Remembrance occasion, Forces War Records is currently offering you the chance to win one of eleven A3 sized custom memorial scrolls, which are a great way to commemorate your family’s war heroes and their military achievements. Sign up as a free member on our website from now until Monday on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 2013, and you could win one of these special commemorative scrolls. For your chance to win follow this link and sign up today: WIN ONE OF 11 CUSTOM MEMORIAL SCROLLS Also, a great way to remember your family's achievements, the military genealogy specialists also have a range of official military replacement medals available to purchase, from World War I and World War II, including the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, and the 1939-45 Star.