Remembrance Day: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day or Poppy Day).

What is Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Day is a memorial day which take place every year so that countries in the Commonwealth can remember members of the armed forces who have lost their lives serving their country.

When is Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Day is always 11th November (11/11). It was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, that combat in World War 1 came to an end in 1918.

Remembrance Day has been observed since 1919.

Why do we wear poppies on Remembrance Day?

The poppy was one of the first flowers to bloom on the battlefields of Flanders during World War 1. Their bright red colour symbolised the blood shed during the horrific conflict, but also the hope of new life, and the poppy became the symbol of Remembrance Day.

The Remembrance Poppy has been used as a symbol since 1920. Today, poppies are worn on clothing in the days leading up to Remembrance Day, and poppy wreaths are placed on war memorials. This is why Remembrance Day is often known as Poppy Day.

In the UK, poppies can be bought from The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. The money raised goes to help veterans of the armed services.

Poppy Appeal

What is Remembrance Sunday?

Remembrance Sunday is always the second Sunday in November, the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day (Armistice Day). Many ceremonies are held across the UK to remember those who gave their lives during World War 1, World War 2 and later conflicts.

The National Service of Remembrance takes place on Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph (war memorial) at Whitehall, London. The Queen lays a wreath and other tributes are also placed. The event is televised.

A two minute silence is traditionally held at 11 o’clock on both Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday.

Why do we have Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Day is an opportunity to pay respect and honour to those who lost their lives serving their country. It also gives the public a chance to remember family and friends who lost their lives fighting in wars. Finally, it gives people a chance to consider the cost of war.

Why do some people wear white poppies or purple poppies?

White poppies are worn by pacifists (those people who oppose all conflict and war) as a way of promoting peace. Purple poppies are produced by a charity called Animal Aid and remind people that animals also lose their lives during wars.

What next? Learn more about the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red poppy installation at the Tower of London.