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11/11/18 - Armistice Day: how “we will remember them”, a century on

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First World War Centenary logoSunday 11 November 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that formally ended hostilities in the First World War.

The day will recognise the significance of the end of the war, and the sacrifice made by so many men and women during this period.

Civil servants were among those who made that sacrifice. So, there could hardly be a more fitting moment to reacquaint ourselves with the history of the Civil Service Rifles, those who served in its ranks and the 1,240 who fell during the First World War. This blog, first published in 2015, tells their story. It is one of a number of blog posts we have published focusing on the war, the role of the Civil Service, and government-organised commemorations.

On 11 November at 11am,  a small commemoration event will be held at the Civil Service Rifles war memorial at Somerset House. If you are interested in attending, please email

A ceremony to remember all the civil servants who gave their lives will be held in the Guards' Chapel (Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London) on Wednesday 14 November, from 11.45 to 12.30.

Soldiers of Civil Service Rifles parading before Lord Mayor of London June 1915
The 15th Battalion, London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles), 47th Division, marching past the Lord Mayor of London, Colonel Sir Charles Wakefield, 11 June 1916 (© Imperial War Museums) (IWM Q633)
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Imperial War Museums

National commemoration

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has led the Government's planning and organising of commemorations of the centenary of the First World War over the last four years. A range of events and activities are taking place around the UK to mark the anniversary of the Armistice.

Among the main events of national remembrance on 11 November are bell-ringing and a 10,000-strong People’s Procession past the Cenotaph in Whitehall. This will take place after the conclusion of The Royal British Legion’s Veteran Dispersal and March Past, which itself follows the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.

The People’s Procession, participation in which was decided by public ballot, is an opportunity for those taking part to give thanks to all those who served in the First World War to secure the victory that helped shape the rights and privileges we enjoy today.

You can see a map charting all the planned events on DCMS’s Armistice commemoration website:

If you’re holding a commemorative or bell-ringing event marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, you can add your event to the Armistice 100 Map or search for events near you.

Memories and remembrance

The GOV.UK First World War Centenary web site has a range of fascinating information, news and documents curated by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, DCMS, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

Men in WWI uniforms at a station
'Ghost soldiers' stand in silence at London's Victoria Station in 2016

Over the last four years, the History of Government Blog on GOV.UK has accumulated a wealth of posts around the First World War, which provide a compelling and often sobering overview of the conflict. Just some of the more recent posts include those on:

There's also a range of First World War-related content on the Houses of Parliament website. It includes information on Bills and Acts passed, the role of parliamentarians, the political and social impact of the war - particularly on the role and status of women - war-related works of art, the debates on whether we should go to war, and an extensive medal collection.

Follow the commemoration

Poppies falling in front of the Thiepval Memorial
Poppies falling at the Thiepval Memorial

If your department is planning any activities, please let us know in the comments below or tweet us @UKCivilService.

You can follow the commemorations on Twitter @DCMS, and on Instagram @DCMSGOVUK, with #Armistice100.

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  1. Comment by gavin thomas posted on

    Here in Turkey, Cannon Ian Sherwood will be Bell-Ringing at the St Helena Chapel, British Consulate-General Offices, Istanbul in observance of the 100th Anniversary of the end of The Great War.