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Forces War Records Blog


Blogger: GemSen “The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect. The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and stopped dead, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also, seeming to do it of their own volition. Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of 'attention'. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes, and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still ... The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and become so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence, which was almost pain...And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.”
The above exert was reported in the Manchester Guardian, on 12 November 1919, the day after the first two minute silence had taken place on Armistice Day, in London on 11 November 1919. It is almost 100 years ago since the First World War started in 1914 and the guns eventually stopped four years later, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918. This is why 11 November was chosen in 1919 as Armistice Day — the day to remember the war dead. Now, the day is more commonly called Remembrance Day when the nation will stop at 11 am to remember and honour those who have fought and lost their lives not only in World War One but also World War Two, and later conflicts. Are you attending a Remembrance Service today? How will you commemorate the courageous members of our armed forces who have faced danger and died in the line of duty? With next year's centenary fast approaching, interest in the First World War is growing and there's never been a better time to start researching this conflict and your ancestors who perhaps once fought in it. During the First World War, 1914 – 1918, Flanders in Belgium, saw some of the greatest loss of life on the Western Front, and in particular from the three intense battles of Ypres, fought between the Germans and the Allies. The poppies that sprang up from the battlefield afterwards, have become a symbol for Remembrance and lives lost in war, and were immortalised in the poem “In Flanders Fields”, written by John McCrae - shown below. The Remembrance poppy has been used since 1920 to commemorate the soldiers who have died in war and the small artificial poppies were first used by the American Legion before the idea was adopted by the UK. In Flanders fields the poppies blow? Between the crosses, row on row,?    That mark our place; and in the sky? The larks, still bravely singing, fly? Scarce heard amid the guns below.?? We are the Dead. Short days ago? We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,?   Loved and were loved, and now we lie?   In Flanders fields.??   Take up our quarrel with the foe:? To you from failing hands we throw?    The torch; be yours to hold it high.?   If ye break faith with us who die? We shall not sleep, though poppies grow?       In Flanders fields. Sources: Wiki & Do you know enough about your ancestors and their military past? Delve into the Forces War Records ‘historic documents’ library and read some of the interesting war diaries we hold on our site and reflect on what brave soldiers once endured fighting for our freedom. 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… There could be a war hero in your family just waiting to be discovered, and remembered… "We will remember them."
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