100th Anniversary of the Unknown Warrior

On 11 November 1920 the Unknown Warrior was taken from a battlefield cemetery and given a full state burial at Westminster.

100th Anniversary of the Unknown Warrior

On 11 November 1920 the Unknown Warrior was taken from a battlefield cemetery and given a full state burial at Westminster.

This year, on 11 November, marks the 100th anniversary of the Unknown Warrior - an unidentified body chosen to represent all the soldiers, airmen and sailors who were lost in the First World War.

Brigadier General Louis John Wyatt was the General Officer in command of British troops in France and Flanders, as well as Director of graves, registrations, and enquiries. In this capacity, in a makeshift chapel at St Pol in France, Wyatt chose the body of a soldier to represent the Unknown Warrior. This unidentified body was chosen to represent the many lives lost and was buried with reverence in Westminster Abbey.

The funeral and burial in London of the Unknown Warrior on Armistice Day in 1920 was the biggest outpouring of grief the country has ever seen. Thousands lined the streets of the funeral procession from Victoria Station to Westminster Abbey. They had all come to pay their last respects, silent, many in tears, the men bareheaded. More than 10,000 people applied for a seat inside Westminster Abbey for the burial, whilst over the next week more than a million people filed past the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. There was barely a family untouched by the Great War in some way.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey is a time to reflect again on the service and the sacrifices made by those in our Armed Forces; SSAFA is there to honour that debt, as we were 100 years ago, for those who need assistance.

- Sir Andrew Gregory, Controller, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity



If you can, please consider making a donation this Armistice Day in support of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, as we continue the work we did all those years ago - caring for the serving and veteran members of our military, and letting them know that their service is never overlooked or forgotten.

 


We hope everyone will be able to join in with the 2 minutes silence, on both Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day itself, at 11am.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all service men and women, past and present, regular, reserve or veteran, who have defended our nation and our values, and particularly for those who have sacrificed their lives in this noble endeavour.