Armistice/Remembrance Day

Armistice Day is the 11th November (the day on which the armistice was signed to end the First World War - at 11.00am on the 11th day of the eleventh month). Remembrance Sunday is the Sunday nearest to Armistice Day and is the national day of remembrance in the UK. Schools mark remembrance of the war dead on a suitable day around this time.

In recent years, the custom of stopping for the 2-minutes silence at 11.00am on 11th November has grown enormously and is widely practiced in public places.

It is the custom in the Jesuit schools in the UK to read the names of all those former pupils killed in military service.

PowerPoint Refection for Remembrance Day Assembly

Lest we forget
A PowerPoint reflection for use in school assemblies for Remembrance Day.
Duration 5-minutes.
Requires sound.
[Once you open the first slide, the presentation will run automatically. Do not click at all. The music will only run if you start from the first (title) slide]

Remembrance Day PPT


Poems of Remembrance
This website brings together a good collection of texts and poems, traditional and contemporary.

When you go home
John Maxwell Edmonds (1875-1958) wrote the famous epitaph in the Kohima Allied war cemetery. It was used by The Times newspaper to announce the lists of the war dead:

When you go home, tell them of us and say
For their tomorrow, we gave our today.

A second, very similar epitaph was writen by Edmonds, inspired by an epigram of the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos to the fallen at the Battle of Thermopylae (480BC):

When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrows, these gave their today.

For the Fallen
by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914.

This poem is often used in remembrance services - most usually the one verse sometimes with the preceding verse also.

It has become the custom for the congregation to repeat the last line:

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

Inspiration for For The Fallen

Douglas Guest For the Fallen (1971)
performed by the choir of Westminster Abbey (1m 18s)

Alex Patterson For the Fallen (2010)
performed at St Barnabas Cathedral Nottingham (2m 34s)

Mark Blatchly For the Fallen (1980)
performed by the Choir of St Paul's Cathderal London (5m 16s)


Full text of For the Fallen:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

In Flanders Fields
by Lt Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918)

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
we shall not sleep, though poppies grow
in Flanders fields.

Click on image to open larger version
Poppy 1
Image © 2014 Jesuit Institute
Poppy 2
Image © 2014 Jesuit Institute