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Armistice 100: Tower Hill marks century since end of First World War

PUBLISHED: 13:57 11 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:57 11 November 2018

Seafarers past and present marked a century since Armistice Day at Tower Hill Memorial.	Picture: Alex Shaw

Seafarers past and present marked a century since Armistice Day at Tower Hill Memorial. Picture: Alex Shaw

Alex Shaw

Seafarers past and present fell silent in Tower Hamlets this morning to remember those killed and lost in war, commemorating a century since Armistice Day.

Wreaths laid at Tower Hill Memorial. Picture: Alex ShawWreaths laid at Tower Hill Memorial. Picture: Alex Shaw

The two-minute silence held at 11am at the Tower Hill Memorial marked the end of the First World War that hour on November 11 1918.

Sailors, sea cadets and shipwrights were amongst those laying wreaths to honour those who died during the four-year conflict and other wars.

The memorial in Trinity Square lists some 36,000 names of merchant sailors and fisherman, all civilians, lost in the two World Wars and the Falklands conflict, whose grave is the sea.

The Rev Reg Sweet, conducting, asked attendees to remember those “who gave their lives for the cause of freedom”.

The memorial lists some 36,000 names of merchant sailors and fisherman, all civilians, lost in the two World Wars and the Falklands conflict. Picture: Alex ShawThe memorial lists some 36,000 names of merchant sailors and fisherman, all civilians, lost in the two World Wars and the Falklands conflict. Picture: Alex Shaw

“Let us remember before God those whose bodies lie in tended graves, or rest unknown in foreign lands, or in the great deep; those who died in battle or prison camps, or fell victims to disease; all, of whatsoever nation, who died in service of their country; and especially our brethren whose names are recorded on this memorial,” he said.

“Token of all brave seafarers — and all that went down doing their duty.”

In a prayer, the honorary chaplain to the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, who organised the service, called for an end to “the unrest of the world”.

“Grant understanding to all nations, with an increase of sympathy and mutual goodwill; that they may be united in a true fellowship wherein are justice and mercy, truth and freedom, so that the sacrifices of those who died have not been in vain,” he added.

The memorial is the largest in the UK under the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Its First World War section bears 12,000 names of men and women more than 100 nationalities, whose ages range from 13 to 73.

About 1,700 born in India, Aden (modern-day Yemen) and East Africa (now part of Kenya and Somalia) are listed on the Bombay/Mumbai 1914-18 Memorial with more than 500 from Hong Kong and China on the Hong Kong Memorial.

All served under the flag of Britain’s Merchant Navy, whose Red Ensign flag flies above Tower Hill.

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