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Armistice Day 2014: Final poppy placed in London as millions observe two-minute silence across the UK

Press Eye Ltd
Tuesday 11th November 2014
Hundreds of people gather along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon at the City Hall in Belfast to remember the people who have gave their lives for their Countries in previous wars.
Photographer Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
Press Eye Ltd Tuesday 11th November 2014 Hundreds of people gather along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon at the City Hall in Belfast to remember the people who have gave their lives for their Countries in previous wars. Photographer Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
Press Eye Ltd Tuesday 11th November 2014 Hundreds of people gather along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon at the City Hall in Belfast to remember the people who have gave their lives for their Countries in previous wars. Photographer Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
Press Eye Ltd Tuesday 11th November 2014 Hundreds of people gather along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon at the City Hall in Belfast to remember the people who have gave their lives for their Countries in previous wars. Photographer Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
Press Eye Ltd Tuesday 11th November 2014 Hundreds of people gather along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon at the City Hall in Belfast to remember the people who have gave their lives for their Countries in previous wars. Photographer Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
Hundreds of people gather along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon at the City Hall in Belfast to remember the war dead. Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
Hundreds of people gather along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon at the City Hall in Belfast to remember the war dead. Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
Hundreds of people gather along with Lord Mayor Nicola Mallon at the City Hall in Belfast to remember the war dead. Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
The names of the British and Colonial soldiers who were killed during World War 1 are read out amongst the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London. Pic Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Balloons wait to be released into the air in Liverpool City Centre before the observation of two minutes silence at 11am to mark Armistice Day attended by service personnel and members of the public. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Crowds gathered as Nottingham falls silent in memory of those who lost their lives in armed combat, marking the centenary of the First World War. Lewis Stickley/PA Wire
Artist Paul Cummins hands the final poppy to be planted to Cadet Harry Hayes, 13, for the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London, marking the centenary of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Cadet Harry Hayes, 13, arrives to plant the last poppy in the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London, marking the centenary of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Ceramic poppies in the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London, marking the centenary of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
One of the ceramic poppy in the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London, marking the centenary of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Visitors on Armistice Day look the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London, marking the centenary of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
The near completed ceramic poppy art installation by artist Paul Cummins entitled "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" is lit up before sunrise in the dry moat of the Tower of London in London, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. The finished installation will be made up of 888,246 ceramic poppies, with the final poppy being placed on Armistice Day today. Each poppy represents a British and Commonwealth military fatality from World War I. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
British troops gather for a ceremony to mark Armistice Day at Kandahar airfield on November 11, 2014 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Brigadier Rob Thomson lays a wreath during a ceremony to mark Armistice Day attended by some of the British troops that still remain in Afghanistan at Kandahar airfield on November 11, 2014 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
British troops gather for a ceremony to mark Armistice Day at Kandahar airfield on November 11, 2014 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
War veterans pays tribute at the Cenotaph, Martin Place during the Rememberance Day Service on November 11, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. This year marks the 96th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War (1914-18). (Photo by Michele Mossop/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 11: War veterans pays tribute at the Cenotaph, Martin Place during the Rememberance Day Service on November 11, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Michele Mossop/Getty Images)
A serviceman bows his head as both serving and former commandos gather during the Commando Memorial Service commemorate and pay respect to the sacrifice of service men and women who fought in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts on November 9, 2014 in Spean Bridge, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

By Adam Withnall

As Britain remembered the nation’s war dead with a two-minute silence, thousands gathered at an artistic installation at the Tower of London to pay their respects.

Veterans and dignitaries played a leading role in the service in London, where a young cadet was given the last of 888,246 ceramic poppies to plant in the ground.

The poignant display, entitled Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red, features one flower for each of the British or Colonial soldiers killed during the First World War.

Thousands gathered around the Tower to hear the bugler sound the Last Post just before the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

The ceremony, which began at 10.30am, included a 21-gun salute by the Honourable Artillery Company and a final roll of honour - names of some of the fallen from the First World War - was read out.

Friends Karen Brown, Karen Lewis and Sarah Johnson visited in July as the first poppies were planted.

Ms Lewis said the sheer scale of the installation, then just one poppy away from completion, was breathtaking.

"To see the difference from the first few that we planted to how it looks now - we've watched it on the news but to actually see it today, it really brings it home," she said.

For every dead soldier, she said, many more have returned home injured or bearing invisible wounds.

"From the Afghanisan and Iraq wars, they say there will be 75,000 they're looking after," Ms Lewis said.

"You can see the lost limbs, but it's the mental scars you can't see."

For Ms Brown, this year marked the fifth Armistice Day since her nephew died in Afghanistan.

Rifleman Daniel Simpson, of the 2nd Battalion The Rifles, was just 20 years old when he was killed on 10 July 2009.

Ms Brown said she was touched by the throngs of people who had turned out to remember those killed in battle.

"It's such a large crowd," she said, scanning the barricades laden with people.

"I've just come to pay my respects."

Source: Independent

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