Plymouth will be joining the international ‘Battle’s Over’ commemoration this Remembrance Sunday, marking 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end of World War One.
As well as the annual service of remembrance on Plymouth Hoe at 11am, there will be special events in the early morning and evening, linking in with commemorations being held across the UK and overseas.
The day will begin on the Hoe at 6am, with a lone piper playing Battle’s O’er (a traditional Scottish air played after a battle) at the Royal Naval War Memorial as the Union Flag is raised on the Belvedere. More than 1,000 pipers will be playing the tune in other locations at the same time.
The city’s remembrance service will take place later that morning, starting with a two-minute silence at the Royal Naval Memorial at 11am.
Lord Mayor Councillor Sam Davey and Lady Mayoress Bethan Davey will be joined by the Deputy Lord Mayor and Deputy Lady Mayoress Councillors Chris Mavin and Sue Dann, Council Leader Tudor Evans and Leader of the Opposition Councillor Ian Bowyer, as well as Council Chief Executive Tracey Lee in remembering all those who lost their lives in both World Wars and in all conflicts.
Wreaths will be laid by the Deputy Lieutenant of Devon, the Lord Mayor (on behalf of the people of Plymouth), Flag Officer Sea Training and other representatives from the armed forces and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Wreaths will then be laid by children from the Military Kids Club Heroes (a support group of service family children from across the city) and pupils from Ford, Leigham and Tor Bridge primary schools.
The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev Robert Atwell will conduct the service, which will last for around 20 minutes.
Members of the public and local organisations will be invited to pay their respects and lay their personal wreaths at the end of the service, on the north side of the memorial, following the departure of the civic dignitaries.
The processional party will then take their places at the Civilian Memorial in Lockyer Street, where the Bishop of Exeter will say a prayer. Wreaths will be laid by the Lord Mayor, Flag Officer Sea Training (on behalf of the armed services), the Chief Superintendent of Plymouth and Luke Pollard MP (on behalf of the city’s Members of Parliament), followed by representatives from various emergency services and organisations.
Civic dignitaries and military representatives will gather on the Hoe again at 6pm for ‘Battle’s Over: A Nation’s Tribute’, which will include a ‘Beat Retreat’ and Sunset ceremony with The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.
The Ensign will be lowered on the Hoe Promenade as Sunset is sounded, just before 7pm. A beacon will then be lit on the south side of the Royal Naval War Memorial at 7pm by the Lord Mayor’s Cadet and a member of the Military Kids Club Heroes. A second beacon will also be lit on the battlements of the Citadel. The Minster Church of St Andrew and other churches in Plymouth will then join more than 1,000 churches and cathedrals nationwide in ringing their bells for peace.
A light projection of poppies will cover the Royal Naval War Memorial, the Royal Air Force Memorial will be floodlit blue and the Royal Marines Memorials green. Smeaton’s Tower will also be floodlit.
Members of the public are reminded that parking around the Hoe is limited. Some spaces will be available on the Hoe Promenade for blue badge holders on a first come, first served basis.
Lord Mayor of Plymouth Councillor Sam Davey said: “Remembrance Day is always an important date but this year’s is particularly significant, as we mark 100 years since the end of the Great War. Plymouth is very proud to be playing a part in this historic international commemoration, recognising the enormous contribution and sacrifice made by all those men and women who served in this and all other conflicts.