On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the First World War ended.
Since then, 11 November (or Armistice Day) has been enshrined in the memories of the nation as a day to pause and remember those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.
The Royal British Legion has always supported the traditional Remembrance Sunday services and the customary two minute silence on that day.
As the national custodian of remembrance, the Legion also believes that when 11 November falls on a day other than Sunday, remembrance should be brought into the everyday life of the nation on those days as well. The revival of support for observance of this demonstrates that, despite the passing of the years and the declining number of veterans, the nation still feels strongly about remembrance.
Salford City Council would like to thank the Royal British Legion veterans who volunteer to arrange the parade and services at the city’s six cenotaphs to help us remember together in 2019. We asked these veteran to comment on why they serve the community in this way.
Retired Flight Lieutenant Owen Hammond, who organises the Salford parade, grew up in the aftermath of World War II in London and has attended Remembrance Sunday services since he was four. He served in the RAF from 1964 to 1976. His son served in the army in the 2nd Gulf War. Two men from his son’s unit were the first soldiers in the war to be killed by a roadside bomb.
Owen says: “I have lived in Salford for 15 years and when I retired decided to help several veterans’ charities. I have seen for myself the effect of war on some of my friends and acquaintances. I have also seen the actions taken by kind and caring individuals to help alleviate this suffering.
“We must remember this appalling sacrifice. We must understand why it happened and how to prevent it happening again.
“Some people think we are 'glorifying' war. They could not be more wrong about the act of remembrance. The words engraved on the Cenotaph in Whitehall are ‘To the glorious dead’ not to ‘The glorious battle of Trafalgar, Waterloo or El Alamein.’”
Vic Lawton is Chairman of Swinton British Legion which organises the Swinton parade.
Vic says: “It gives me great pride and honour to give a little time to the men and women who gave so much for us, and still do to keep us safe.”
Ian Jolley, current parade marshall for Irlam and Cadishead, served in the army between 1990 and 2012 and spent three years in the reserves.
Ian says: “Like so many before me and since, I have been unfortunate, to have lost comrades and friends who I served alongside for many a year via conflict on foreign lands.
“Remembrance gives me and others the opportunity to say thank you to those who have given their all in this life, so that we, the living here, have an element of freedom for this and every day.
“It also serves me well to be amongst fellow veterans and the families of those who have lost soldiers, airmen and sailors. On this special day we are afforded a unique comradely spirit in which to mourn and celebrate the lives of the fallen in the comfort of support we afford each other.
“Along with a committee of fine local volunteers we ensure year on year the parade, which has grown steadily, is conducted locally to ensure those who gave their lives locally and afar are remembered in a fitting manner.”
This page was last updated on 23 October 2019