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90th anniversary of World War One armistice

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90th anniversary of World War One armistice


On the eve of the 90th anniversary of the armistice, a special ceremony has been held in the Belgian city of Ypres.

As the skirl of the pipes echoed around the streets, crowds gathered at the nearby Menin Gate to hear the Last Post being played.

Ypres saw some of the worst fighting of the First World War. Walls there bear the names of 55,000
soldiers whose remains have never been found.

As is customary, a ceremony was held at London’s Cenotaph on Sunday, attended by the Queen and senior members of Britain’s Royal Family. Later today, the three remaining British veterans, including Henry Allingham, 112, will pay their own tribute there, to those who died in the “war to end all wars.”

“I hope there will be no more war,” Allingham told reporters.
“I pray that in the whole world, there will be no more war, because there are never any victors…”

European dignitaries, led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, will be in France, at the site of the Battle of Verdun, in which an estimated 300,000 French and German soldiers died in just 10 months.

When the Armistice was signed on November 11 1918, 10 million men had died out of a total of 65 million who had signed up since hostilities broke out in 1914. Most of them were aged between 18 and 25.

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