The Cenotaph: wreath-laying at the Western Front Association's service of remembrance in Whitehall (Photo: Centenary News)

Prime Minister joins WFA in Armistice Day remembrance at the Cenotaph, London

Posted on centenarynews.com on 11 November 2014
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British Prime Minister David Cameron took part in the Western Front Association's annual remembrance service at the Cenotaph on November 11th 2014, the first Armistice Day of the Great War Centenary.

Whitehall was closed to traffic as Mr Cameron joined members of the WFA in procession to the Cenotaph, watched by hundreds of people who'd gathered for the ceremony at the monument in the heart of central London.

Two minutes silence was observed at 11am, marking the moment when the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War 96 years ago.

Members of the Khaki Chums, dressed in the uniforms of 1914-18, represented all those who fought.

David Cameron with Professor Peter Simkins (left), President of the Western Front Association, and Bruce Simpson, former WFA Chairman (Photo: Centenary News)

Wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph by members of the Western Front Association and the armed forces, accompanied by schoolchildren representing the youth of the nation.

After prayers, the singer and broadcaster, Cerys Matthews, read 'In Flanders Fields,' the poem written by the Canadian soldier and doctor, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, following  the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. 

Members of the Western Front Association led moves to restore the annual tradition of Armistice Day remembrance at the Cenotaph in 1994.

After the Second World War, the focus of Britain's national commemoration there had shifted to Remembrance Sunday, the nearest Sunday to November 11th.

The WFA now gathers at the Cenotaph on Armistice Day every year, except when Remembrance Sunday falls on the 11th of the month, to remember those on all sides who fought from 1914-18.

The Western Front Association was formed by the miltary historian, John Giles, in 1980, with the aim of furthering interest in the First World War and to 'perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those who served their countries during that time.' It now has 6,500 members worldwide. More details can be found here.

Source: Western Front Association

Images: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News