Armistice Day: What is it and how is it different to Remembrance Sunday?

Lest we Forget – today we remember those who fought and died in World War One (Picture: Getty)

Armistice Day is today, three days ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

The day honours the sacrifices made by all those who served in World War One, and reminds all generations to remember the price of freedom with the phrase ‘Lest we Forget.’

While Remembrance Sunday is on a different date every year, Armistice Day is always on November 11 – and once again a two minute silence will be observed to mark the day.

Here’s what you need to know about this important day, how it differs from Remembrance Sunday and what time you should observe the silence.

What is Armistice Day?

Armistice Day remembers the day on which World War One came to an end after four years of fighting.

On 11 November 1918 the agreement between the Allies and Germany to cease hostilities was signed in Compiegne, Northern France, coming into effect at 11am on that day – on ‘the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’.

Each year, members of the Royal Family attend a service at the Cenotaph (Picture: Getty Images)

The armistice forced the Germans – who had been defeated in the war – to evacuate countries and territories they had invaded within two weeks, as well as surrendering war material.

Although hostilities continued in some areas, the armistice effectively brought fighting to an end in the four-year war – although it had to be extended several times before the Treaty Of Versailles – the formal peace agreement ending the conflict – was signed the following year.

How is Armistice Day different to Remembrance Sunday?

Armistice Day marks the cessations of hostilities in World War I (Picture: PA)

Remembrance Sunday takes place on the second Sunday of November as a day of remembrance for those who laid down their lives defending the country.

Although it is different to Armistice Day, 11 November is often referred to as Remembrance Day, hence the confusion over whether they are the same thing.

The remembrance service was previously held on 11 November itself – however Remembrance Sunday came about after the two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday closest to that date at the start of World War II in 1939.

This was done as an emergency measure to avoid the interruption of vital war materials being produced.

In 1945, just before VE Day – the end of the Second World War – it was proposed that the second Sunday in November should become Remembrance Sunday in commemoration of both the World Wars.

Since 1995, however – the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II – it has become customary to hold remembrance ceremonies both on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.

When is the two-minute silence?

As with Remembrance Sunday a two-minute silence will be held (Picture: SWNS)

As with Remembrance Sunday, the two-minute silence will take place at 11am – it is the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month,

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