On 11 November 2018, the United Kingdom and its friends overseas will mark the day 100 years ago when the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War.
A unique series of events are being planned in the morning and evening involving organisations and communities the length and breadth of the country and in many countries abroad.
The sound of 1,000 bagpipes will fill the air before dawn has broken on 11 November 2018. In cities, towns and villages throughout the land, individual pipers will play Battle’s O’er – a traditional air played by pipers after a battle. Heralding the start of the day’s commemorations, they will play the haunting tune outside churches and cathedrals, in market squares, on hilltops and high streets, in valleys and village greens throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Later that day, after darkness has fallen, more than 1,000 Beacons of Light will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories, with the first of these Beacons being lit at Westminster Abbey. This is a commemoration inspired by a comment made on 3rd August 1914 by Britain’s Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey. He was looking out of his office window at dusk as gas lights were being lit along London’s Mall when he remarked to a friend, “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” The country was about to be plunged into the darkness of the First World War, and it would be four long years before Britain and Europe would again experience the light of peace. In remembrance of the end of the war and the millions who were killed or came home dreadfully wounded, Beacons of Light will be lit around the country at 7pm on 11 November. The event will also commemorate the huge army of men and women on the home front who, often in dangerous and exhausting conditions, underpinned the war effort – keeping the wheels of industry turning and bringing home the harvests. The beacons will symbolise the light of hope that emerged from the darkness of war.
As beacons blaze around the country, bells in churches and cathedrals will ring out in celebration of the end of the First World War. The sound of church bells will provide a fitting conclusion to a day of contemplation, commemoration and, ultimately, celebration as our country and other nations reflect on events a century ago on the battlefields of Europe and at home in our factories and farms.
St Monans & Abercrombie will be fully participating in this unique community project, commemorating the bravery and personal sacrifice made by so many, along with celebrating the light that emerged from the darkness of war.
Further details of the local events planned to follow.