In previous years the British Gazette has “covered” this, but this year the omission was deliberate for we feel that the time has come for a decision to be made as to when the fallen should be remembered.
A Mr Percy FitzPatrick wrote to King George V requesting that the country adopt a two minute silence on the first anniversary of Armistice Day. The King accepted his request and the first two minute silence took place on November the 11th 1919. Not surprisingly, it proved overwhelmingly popular and occurred each year thereafter, except during World War Two.
Armistice Day however proved a major headache for the power stations that had great difficulties in the sudden reduction in load. As a result, the first Remembrance Sunday after the Second World War in 1946 included the two minute silence.
Over the years it was shortened to a one minute silence until 1995 when on the 8th May when it was the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). Since then the two minute silence has been observed each November the 11th – the eleventh hour and the eleventh day of the eleventh month as well as the observation on Remembrance Sunday.
In the 1970s and the 1980s certain politicians and commentators raised the question as to whether the observance should continue at all.
The British Gazette suggests the following:
The official remembrance should be moved back to Armistice Day itself. This would be in effect a confirmation of what has in the most part has happened for unfortunately Church attendance has fallen dramatically since the inter war period.
Remembrance Sunday would still be observed but the official ceremony and march past should be on Armistice Day.