Commonwealth War Graves - Cassino

The Polish War Graves, Cassino(1000 graves)

Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery - Cassino

The term 'The Armistice' specifically refers to the end of World War I. It marked the cessation of hostilities while awaiting a peace settlement.
An armistice commission was dispatched to negotiate with the Allies. At 5am on 11 November 1918, the Armistice was signed between Germany and the Allies in a railway carriage at Compiègne. The terms were laid down by the Allies, the event signifying the end of the War. At 11am that morning hostilities ended on the Western Front.

However, it was to be nearly a year before all hostilities ended.

In London, at 11am on 11 November 1918, Big Ben rang for first time in four years.
In the UK Armistice Day is now commemorated on the same day as Remembrance Sunday.

On 17 November under the terms of the armistice, Allied troops began to reoccupy the areas of France and Belgium that had been held by the Germans since 1914. Allied and U.S. troops followed the withdrawing Germans into Germany. On December 9, Allied troops crossed the Rhine into the bridgeheads agreed in the armistice. The British were at Cologne, the Americans at Coblenz, and the French at Mainz. Meanwhile, on 21 November the German High Seas Fleet sailed into the Firth of Forth, between the lines of the British Grand Fleet. It later was shifted to Scapa Flow.

What is Remembrance Day?
Remembrance Day is on 11 November. It is a special day set aside to remember all those men and women who were killed during the two World Wars and other conflicts. At one time the day was known as Armistice Day and was renamed Remembrance Day after the Second World War.

Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday in November, which is usually the Sunday nearest to 11 November. Special services are held at war memorials and churches all over Britain. A national ceremony takes place at the cenotaph in Whitehall, London.

But why a poppy?

Throughout the world the poppy is associated with the remembrance of those who died in order that we may be free, but how many of us are aware of the reason of how and why the poppy became the symbol of remembrance and an integral part of the work of the Royal British Legion.

Flanders is the name of the whole western part of Belgium. It saw some of the most concentrated and bloodiest fighting of the First World War. There was complete devastation. Buildings, roads, trees and natural life simply disappeared. Where once there were homes and farms there was now a sea of mud - a grave for the dead where men still lived and fought. Only one other living thing survived. The poppy flowering each year with the coming of the warm weather, brought life, hope, colour and reassurance to those still fighting.

Poppies only flower in rooted up soil. Their seeds can lay in the ground for years without germinating, and only grow after the ground has been disturbed.

John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Armed Forces, was so deeply moved by what he saw in northern France that, in 1915 in his pocket book, he scribbled down the poem "In Flanders Fields" .

McCrae's poem was eventually published in 'Punch' magazine under the title 'In Flanders Fields'. The poppy became a popular symbol for soldiers who died in battle.

This began the tradition of wearing a poppy in remembrance.

The first actual Poppy Day was held in Britain on November 11th, 1921 and was a national success raising£106,000. Since then, during every November, we keep the memory alive by wearing a poppy to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives during war.

Americans celebrate Veterans Day and here in Britain we have Remembrance Day.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

Material supplied by Dave and Mike Pruett

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