On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the guns of World War One fell silent. Now every year millions of people stop to observe a two minute silence that commemorates the original Armistice of 1918.This signaled the ‘stilling of arms’ and led to the formal end to the First World War (eventually signed in 1919).
There are many war memorials across the constituency, a lot of which are in small villages where the number of those who fell in the First World War would have represented a significant proportion of the local community and almost all of them young men. There are two War Memorials in remembrance of all the service men and women from Ashburton who lost their lives during the wars.
Visit Ashburton.org to see the names of those from Ashburton who fell defending our country.
Much of the fighting of World War One took place in Western Europe, where beautiful countryside was repeatedly blasted, bombed and fought over. The landscape swiftly turned to fields of mud, bleak and barren, where little or nothing could grow.
Bright red Flanders poppies (Papaver rhoeas) however, were delicate but resilient flowers and grew in their thousands, flourishing even in the middle of chaos and destruction. In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lt Col John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies to write a now famous poem called “In Flanders Fields“.
British Legion – In Flanders Field by Major John McCrae.
The Poppy is a symbol of Remembrance and hope. It is a personal choice to wear the poppy and it reflects individual and personal memories. Wreaths of poppies are laid at the foot of war memorials across the country to remember those who fought for our freedom during the two World Wars and also to mourn and honour those who have lost their lives in more recent conflicts.
A sea of 888,246 hand-made ceramic poppies has filled the moat surrounding The Tower of London. Each representing a British and Commonwealth soldier who died during WW1. The installation entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ by artist Paul Cummins marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.
BBC News – Tower of London poppies: Final poppy is ‘planted’.