UK

Armistice Day: Final Poppy Laid At Tower Of London To Mark 888,246 War Dead

11/11/2014 10:38 GMT | Updated 11/11/2014 17:59 GMT

SEE ALSO: Poppies Seen From Above In Beautiful Unseen Drone Footage

A 13-year-old cadet laid the final poppy to the enormous artwork at The Tower of London this morning, completing its goal of placing a poppy for each of the 888,246 British and Commonwealth casualties of the First World War.

'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' has grown over months of commemorations in the centenary year of the war beginning. As poppies were gradually planted, the sea of red grew to fill the ancient building's dry moat.

It fell to 13-year-old Harry Hayes to place the last one in front of a large crowd.

Around four million people have been to see the display - more than four visitors for each poppy.

Armistice Day

Large swathes of the country fell silent for two minutes at 11am, marking the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when the First World War ended.

After the service, thousands of volunteers were due to begin removing and cleaning each poppy so it can be sent on to a buyer who has paid £25 for it. These sales have raised £10 million for military charities.

Although Remembrance Sunday is traditionally the larger ceremony, the two-minute silence on November 11 has been marked every year since the war. In recent years, it has become more widespread after a successful campaign by the British Legion and a resurgence of support for commemoration events, as Britons have died in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Richard Hughes, of the Western Front Association - which organises the Annual Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, said this year's commemorations were not just about the end of the First World War.

He said: "We have got the modern version here with us stepping back from Afghanistan. That itself has tremendous resonance.

"That itself has tremendous resonance. The notion of remembrance has become important again. It has stopped being obscure old history.

"To be part of that continuing tradition of remembrance gives soldiers a great comfort and it gives their families great comfort."

Both Armistice Day, #lestweforget and #2MinuteSilence were trending on Twitter, as people pay their respects, with one person noting "the guns kept firing" right up, literally, until the last minute of the war.

People in London gathered earlier in the morning. Trafalgar Square hosted a series of events, including readings and performances, before its Silence In The Square at 11am. There were services at Westminster Abbey and the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Several time zones ahead of us, British forces in Kandahar marked Armistice Day - the last time they will do so in Afghanistan.

Armistice Day

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