Na­tion gets ready for to­day’s two A FI­NAL SALUTE TO OUR FALLEN HEROES

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By Ni­cola Small

BRI­TAIN will fall silent for two min­utes at 11am to­day to mark the 100th an­niver­sary of the end­ing of a war that claimed 9.7 mil­lion lives.

The fi­nal ma­jor commemoration of The Great War be­gins five hours ear­lier, as pipers play the Scot­tish lament Bat­tle’s O’er at some 2,000 lo­ca­tions world­wide.

At 12.30pm, church bells will ring out across the na­tion in a poignant echo of the sense of re­lief felt in 1918 when the hor­ror ended.

In the evening, the Last Post will be sounded by 1,200 bu­glers be­fore Bea­cons of Light are lit from Land’s End to John O’groats at 7pm, sym­bol­is­ing an end to the dark­ness.

Yes­ter­day Lucy At­trill, 14, moved an au­di­ence to tears at Lon­don’s Royal Albert Hall as she re­cited her poem to hon­our Bri­tain’s 885,000 First World War dead.

The Queen, Charles, Camilla, Wil­liam, Kate, Harry and Meghan were watch­ing as Lucy said: “Thank you. You left your life be­hind, your wife, your chil­dren, ev­ery­thing.

“But your luck was not so kind. If you hadn’t given your life in France, if you hadn’t stepped on that train, your boys might have had a fa­ther but our world might not be the same.”

Poignant

Birm­ing­ham school­girl Lucy’s great­grand­fa­ther Ge­orge At­trill was in the Royal Navy dur­ing both world wars. He was too old for ac­tive ser­vice in WW2 but served on a hospi­tal ship, which was bombed. He died in 1953, aged 66.

An­other spine-tin­gling mo­ment came as Harry and Meghan’s wed­ding cel­list Sheku Kan­neh-ma­son played Hal­lelu­jah as im­ages of the trenches were pro­jected on to gauze screens.

Sir Tom Jones and Sheri­dan Smith also per­formed and the fi­nale saw thou­sands of pop­pies fall from the roof.

Ear­lier, Harry laid a wreath at Twick­en­ham be­fore Eng­land’s nar­row rugby de­feat to New Zealand.

Yes­ter­day also saw the end of The Long Walk Home, in which 100 vet­er­ans took four days to trek 100 miles to Lon­don’s Ceno­taph from the bat­tle­ground of Ypres in Bel­gium.

Among the walk­ers was Pete Bar­ron, 63, a for­mer Lieu­tenant Colonel with the Royal Corps of Sig­nals for 38 years.

Pete , from Lud­low, Shrop­shire, was car­ry­ing the medals of his

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